Navigation Guided/Computer-Assisted Spine Surgery
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Navigation Guided/Computer-Assisted Spine Surgery

Traditionally, the outcomes of spinal surgeries relied on the use of manual surgical techniques and the surgeon’s expertise and experience. As the spine is a complex and delicate structure of the central nervous system, even minor inaccuracies during its surgical correction are not right for the patient. Traditional spinal surgery had some drawbacks. Its outcomes did result in some complications and prolonged recovery. It generally causes injury to the spinal cord and the surrounding blood vessels and nerves. Thankfully, with technological advancements, there came up a newer surgical approach- Navigation-Guided/Computer-Assisted Spine Surgery in Hyderabad.

At Arete Hospitals, Spine and Neuroscience Department, there is a panel of top-notch Spine Surgeons in Hyderabad who have been making use of modern-day surgical techniques to treat spinal issues in patients of any age group.

Benefits of Navigation Guided/Computer-Assisted Spine Surgery

  • Reduced exposure to radiations- Before spine surgery, the surgeon recommends the patient for pre-operative imaging to confirm the patient’s candidacy for spine surgery. The preoperative imaging is done with advanced medical imaging techniques such as MRIs or CT scans that create detailed 3D models of the patient’s spine. This minimises the need for intraoperative X-ray imaging and exposure to ionising radiation for both the patient and the surgical staff members.
  • Minimal trauma- The surgery is minimally invasive. This means there is making of smaller incisions, minimal damage of tissues, less scarring, and less pain or discomfort during and after the operation.  
  • Improved outcomes- The surgery is highly successful in addressing the target spinal concern. With accurate planning, precision, and real-time feedback, the surgery has better outcomes and fewer complications.
  • Better precision and safety- The assistance of computer systems allows for the delivery of precise results. It ensures an extremely accurate and safe placement of implants, screws, and surgical instruments in the spine which wasn’t possible using a free hand.
  • Faster recovery- The surgery preserves the surrounding healthy tissues of the spine and results in minimal damage to spinal tissues which makes the patients quickly heal and have a shorter hospital stay.

Although there are many advantages to undertaking a navigation-guided/computer-assisted spinal surgery, the benefits can only outweigh the surgical risks when skilled and experienced surgeons are performing the surgery.

The Spine Surgeons in Hyderabad at Arete Hospitals have proper training to effectively operate the computer systems and make informed decisions during the surgery.

What is Navigation Guided/Computer-Assisted Spine Surgery?

Navigation-guided/computer-assisted spinal surgery is a modern surgical technique that combines advanced technology and computer systems to more precisely and accurately perform spinal surgeries. It involves the use of computer-assisted navigation for placing instrumentation of the spine.  

The entire system of computer-assisted spine surgery comprises: 

  • A computer- It is installed with specialised navigation software.
  • Digital camera array- This camera is used to create real-time pictures and video of the spine anatomy. It helps in tracking the surgical instruments during the surgery concerning the spine.
  • A monitor screen- On the monitor, the surgeon can visualise the site of the operation of the spine in real time.
  • Smart instrumentation- This includes the use of wireless surgical devices, such as a pedicle feeler for probing, an awl to make or enlarge holes in the bones, and a spine tracker which is attached to vertebrae to maintain the accuracy of the 3D image obtained. 

Before Surgery

The surgeon orders the patient for advanced imaging tests like CT scans and MRI scans of the spine so that the scanned 3-D images of the spine are used as a reference for spinal surgery. These images are fed into the navigation computer. The computer is installed with specialised software which creates a virtual, 3-D map of the patient’s spine. Using these images, the surgeon then plans the surgery details such as the size of the smart instrumentation to use and to determine the point of their entry. To guide the surgery, the spine surgeon in Hyderabad marks reference points on the scanned images of the patient's spine.

What does Navigation Guided/Computer-Assisted Spine Surgery Involve?

Navigation-guided/computer-assisted spine surgery is carried out on the patient who has received general anaesthesia. The surgeon makes an incision over the spinal site to be operated, either on the neck or back. Next, a spine tracker with a camera is clamped to the vertebrae for the projection of real-time images of the spine onto the monitor screen.

The procedure commences with the patient’s registration process where the surgeon touches the true spine of the patient using smart instrumentation and matches it with the predefined reference points on the computer.

Following the registration process, the surgeon utilises smart, specialised surgical instruments to perform the spine surgery. At this time, the surgeon can view both the exposed true spine of the patient and the computer-generated real-time image of the spine on the monitor. The monitor screen even displays different angles of the patient’s operation site and the path by which the surgical instrument can be inserted and accurately positioned to operate the spinal condition.

For stabilisation of the repaired spinal bone, the surgeon needs to insert pedicle screws. The computer software helps measure the accurate insertion points for pedicle screws and even monitor the instrumentation process. It monitors the smart instrumentation as the holes are drilled into the spinal bone for insertion of pedicle screws to ensure the right depth of the holes. The instrumentation is removed and replaced by metal rods which stabilise the patient’s spine. Lastly, the incisions are closed. This marks the end of the surgery. 

Good Candidates for Computer-Assisted Spine Surgery

Patients having an unstable lumbar spine or worsening pain in the back or leg because of disc degeneration, degenerative scoliosis, spondylolisthesis, or recurrent herniated disc can be a potential candidate for navigation-guided/computer-assisted spine surgery. The surgery is recommended for severe spinal problems that limit one’s routine physical activities or/and in cases where there is a failure of conservative surgeries.

The suitable candidates for computer-assisted spine surgery can only be determined by a spine surgeon who is trained for such minimally invasive spine surgeries. Consulting a Spine Doctor in Hyderabad at Arete Hospitals can help you determine your best surgical option for the treatment of spinal conditions.

After Discharge

Following navigation-guided/computer-assisted spine surgery, the surgeon will counsel the patient regarding post-surgical care to help the patient recover quickly. For a few weeks, the patient must avoid bending, lifting, running, or engaging in high-impact physical activities. The patient may need to wear a brace following the surgery. Moreover, the surgeon will suggest post-surgical rehabilitation or an exercise program to stretch and strengthen the spine.

Cost of Computer-Assisted Spine Surgery in Hyderabad

The price of computer-assisted spine surgery in Hyderabad depends upon various factors, including:

  • The surgeon’s expertise and experience
  • Anaesthesiologist fees
  • The type of surgery and severity of the spinal condition being treated
  • Health insurance coverage.

At Arete Hospitals, our spine specialists in Hyderabad offer comprehensive, advanced spine surgery services of the highest quality at a reasonable price.

Risks with Navigation Guided /Computer-Assisted Spine Surgery

Just as with any other surgical procedure, navigation-guided/computer-assisted spine surgery involves certain risks, such as:

  • Persistent pain in the back
  • Implants destabilisation
  • Infection
  • Spinal cord injury.
Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the indications for which navigation-guided/computer-assisted spine surgery is performed?

Navigation-guided/computer-assisted spine surgery is used to remove damaged portions of the vertebral bone through various spinal surgeries such as laminotomy, discectomy, and foraminotomy. The operation is even performed for placement of implants such as pedicle screws during spinal fusion surgery to treat spinal instability. The conditions that result in spinal instability include spinal fractures, spinal stenosis, spinal deformity, spondylolisthesis, spinal tumours/infections, and degenerative disc disease.

2. What is the recovery time for computer-assisted spine surgery?

The recovery time varies from one patient to another. It depends upon multiple factors such as the patient’s general health status, the spinal condition being treated, and how well the patient is following the pre-operative and post-operative guidelines. An average recovery time is roughly 6 weeks.

For more details on computer-assisted spine surgery contact Arete Hospitals, Best Hospital for Spine Surgery in Hyderabad.

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