Clinical accuracy and initial experience with augmented reality-assisted pedicle screw placement: the first 205 screws

Ann Liu, Yike Jin, Ethan Cottrill, Majid Khan, Erick Westbroek, Jeff Ehresman, Zach Pennington, Sheng Fu L. Lo, Daniel M. Sciubba, Camilo A. Molina, Timothy F. Witham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Augmented reality (AR) is a novel technology which, when applied to spine surgery, offers the potential for efficient, safe, and accurate placement of spinal instrumentation. The authors report the accuracy of the first 205 pedicle screws consecutively placed at their institution by using AR assistance with a unique head-mounted display (HMD) navigation system. Methods: A retrospective review was performed of the first 28 consecutive patients who underwent AR-assisted pedicle screw placement in the thoracic, lumbar, and/or sacral spine at the authors' institution. Clinical accuracy for each pedicle screw was graded using the Gertzbein-Robbins scale by an independent neuroradiologist working in a blinded fashion. Results: Twenty-eight consecutive patients underwent thoracic, lumbar, or sacral pedicle screw placement with AR assistance. The median age at the time of surgery was 62.5 (IQR 13.8) years and the median body mass index was 31 (IQR 8.6) kg/m2. Indications for surgery included degenerative disease (n = 12, 43%); deformity correction (n = 12, 43%); tumor (n = 3, 11%); and trauma (n = 1, 4%). The majority of patients (n = 26, 93%) presented with low-back pain, 19 (68%) patients presented with radicular leg pain, and 10 (36%) patients had documented lower extremity weakness. A total of 205 screws were consecutively placed, with 112 (55%) placed in the lumbar spine, 67 (33%) in the thoracic spine, and 26 (13%) at S1. Screw placement accuracy was 98.5% for thoracic screws, 97.8% for lumbar/S1 screws, and 98.0% overall. Conclusions: AR depicted through a unique HMD is a novel and clinically accurate technology for the navigated insertion of pedicle screws. The authors describe the first 205 AR-assisted thoracic, lumbar, and sacral pedicle screws consecutively placed at their institution with an accuracy of 98.0% as determined by a Gertzbein-Robbins grade of A or B.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-357
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery: Spine
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Keywords

  • AR
  • accuracy
  • augmented reality
  • computer-assisted spine surgery
  • mixed reality
  • pedicle screw
  • spine navigation
  • surgical technique

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