News | Procedure Navigation Systems | October 20, 2017

Johns Hopkins Surgeons Perform First Real-Time Image Guided Spine Surgery

Robotic system uses CT scans to accurately place screws

Johns Hopkins Surgeons Perform First Real-Time Image Guided Spine Surgery

Nicholas Theodore, M.D., (center) and the Excelsius robot he designed for image-guided spine surgery. Image courtesy of Johns Hopkins Medicine.

October 20, 2017 — Surgeons at The Johns Hopkins Hospital have for the first time used a real-time, image-guided robot to insert screws into a patient’s spine. With last week’s surgery, Johns Hopkins joins the growing number of hospitals in the United States that offer robotic-assisted spine surgery.

“We are really excited to be able to offer this to our patients,” said Nicholas Theodore, M.D., professor of neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of the Neurosurgical Spine Center of Johns Hopkins Medicine. The robot, he said, has the potential to improve patient safety and decrease procedure time in the operating room. Theodore, who invented the robot before joining the faculty at Johns Hopkins and maintains a financial interest in the technology, said, “This will take what we neurosurgeons do on a daily basis, elevate the art, enable us to do things much more precisely and allow us to perform our best every day.”

One main challenge in minimally invasive spine surgeries for conditions that include degenerative disease, spine tumors or trauma, is knowing where to minimally invade with the least number of readjustments. Currently, spinal screw placement relies on taking multiple X-rays during the procedure to ensure accurate placement. “But we know that about 20 percent of spinal screws inserted are not perfect, so I set out to reverse-engineer and automate accuracy and precision,” said Theodore.

When one drives a car and takes a quick glance to the side, often the steering wheel drifts in the same direction as the driver’s eyes. Theodore says current image-guided surgical procedures require the surgeon to look back and forth between the patient and an image, which causes imperfection of screw placement. While oftentimes these placements are “good enough,” this was not good enough for Theodore.

This new robot marries a computed tomography (CT) scan of the patient with the actual patient, allowing the surgeon to point to a spot on the CT scan and tell the robot to aim for that same spot. Connected to a camera, which itself reads landmarks on the patient, the robot is able to process what the camera sees with the CT image in real time. The biggest fear in this type of procedure is movement, Theodore said —what if the patient breathes or otherwise moves slightly—but this robot can sense changes in position and adjust accordingly.

This new robot joins a few similar robots on the market but works differently and, according to Theodore, holds more potential for other, non-spine uses in the future.

For more information: www.hopkinsmedicine.org

Related Content

Canon Aquilion One CT Helps Gates Vascular Institute Adhere to New Stroke Guidelines
News | Computed Tomography (CT) | December 12, 2018
In stroke, time saved on imaging is time gained in the treatment window. The recently updated guidelines from the...
Coreline Soft Introduces AI Lung Segmentation Solution at RSNA 2018
News | Lung Cancer | December 10, 2018
December 10, 2018 — Korean image software company Coreline Soft Co. Ltd.
FDA Approves New Features for Planmed Verity Cone Beam CT Scanner
Technology | Computed Tomography (CT) | December 07, 2018
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an approval letter for the new features and intended uses of the...
YITU Releases AI-Based Cancer Screening Solutions at RSNA 2018
News | Artificial Intelligence | December 06, 2018
Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) healthcare company YITU healthcare released two brand-new products, Intelligent...
Guerbet Launches Multi-Use OptiVantage Contrast Media Injector in Europe
Technology | Contrast Media Injectors | December 05, 2018
Contrast agent company Guerbet recently announced that the OptiVantage multi-use contrast media injector is now CE...
GE Healthcare Unveils New Applications and Smart Devices Built on Edison Platform
Technology | Artificial Intelligence | December 05, 2018
GE Healthcare recently announced new applications and smart devices built on Edison – a platform that helps accelerate...
Infervision Introduces AI Capabilities for Chest CT Reading
Technology | Computer-Aided Detection Software | November 30, 2018
Big data and artificial intelligence (AI) company Infervision announced the launch of InferRead CT Chest, a new product...
NeuroLogica and MaxQ AI Announce Distribution Agreement
News | Stroke | November 30, 2018
Clinical diagnostics intelligence platform company MaxQ AI and Samsung NeuroLogica announced a distribution agreement...
Videos | Advanced Visualization | November 30, 2018
This is an example of the FDA-cleared OpenSight augmented reality (AR) system for surgical planning from NovaRad at t