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What is Computer Assisted Surgery?

The use of technology plays a vital role in the advancement of medical procedures. Computer Assisted Surgery uses a specialized software to create a virtual, 3-D model of a patient’s spine, which essentially provides an exact road map for surgeons to follow. Click here to learn more about this technology and conditions that are often treated using this method, or continue reading below.

What is Computer Assisted Spine Surgery?

Customized software builds a 3D model of each patient’s spine. This provides a digital map for the physician to follow during surgery, which is why it is sometimes called “surgical navigation.” The surgeon is able to match the patient’s actual spine to the 3D rendering, much like a GPS.

This technology allows the surgeon to track the position of surgical instruments and implants in real time in relation to the patient’s spine.

What Makes up a Computer Assisted Surgery System?

Most surgical navigation systems use a computer with the surgical navigation software, an infrared camera to navigate, and an array of instruments embedded with LEDs (light emitting diodes). The use of these tools in spinal surgery is rapidly expanding, even though the technology is still considered cutting edge.

Surgical navigation may be leveraged to improve accuracy in the following conditions requiring pedicle screws:

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spinal deformity (such as scoliosis or kyphosis)
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Fractures
  • Tumor
  • Infection