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Navigation and Robotic Surgery

Navigation and Robotic Surgery

These are the latest advances across the world in the field of spine surgery. With the advent of Percutaneous Pedicle Screw Fixation, surgeons across the world realized its benefits and wanted to use it more for the benefit of patients. Improvements in technology and successful application of navigation and robotics in other fields, prompted scientists to modify spine technology so that they can be used for spine surgeries. Presently, the application of these techniques is helpful in put Pedicle Screws through out the spine. This has helped to expand the indications of MISS techniques to complex surgeries like deformity corrections also. However, presently the technique is new in India and available only at select centres. Dr. Ruparel strives and hopes that this could be made available for the benefit of larger masses soon.

Navigation is just like GPS navigation system in your car. You need to enter your location and the destination. The system itself provides the most efficient route based on real time estimates. Similarly, in spine surgery, the surgeon determines starting and end point of screws- based on real time feedback the navigation shows the most accurate trajectory for its insertion. All spine instruments are calibrated and the computed navigation system provides real time feedback of the passage their passage in human body. This greatly improves precision and saves operating time.

‘Robot’ is defines as a mechanical device to carry out instructions and perform complicated tasks done by humans. The act of insertion of these pedicle screws is done by a ‘Robotic Arm’ in Robotic surgery. In co-ordination with the Navigation system, it directs its arm to suit the best trajectory for insertion of screws.

Some of the cases of Navigation and Robotic Systems where Dr Ruparel was actively involved are shown.

Presently, these system are used for insertion of PPF only i.e. Stabilization purposes. Efforts to increase their application for Decompressive surgeries are underway which would open a whole new spectrum of application of these systems.

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