In a traditional spine surgery multiple X-ray images are taken, before and during the surgery, which aid in planning the procedure and also monitor the progression of the surgery. With the latest advances in computer and imaging technology, spine surgeons are now able to visualize a three-dimensional (3D) image of the operative region in real time, before and during surgery. This technology is called image guidance surgery (IGS) and allows the spine surgeons to precisely plan the surgery. While this technology is highly sophisticated, it also has additional benefits of enhanced patient safety.
Image guidance technology employs a high-performance computer, medical algorithm software, monitor, cameras, and specialized surgical tools, the combination of which results in a better outcome for patients.
Several days before the surgery, CT scans and/or MRI images, of the site to be operated, are uploaded in the computer which creates a 3-dimensional anatomical replica of the region, using medical algorithm software. These 3D images can be rotated, enlarged (zoom in), and modified, allowing the surgeon to pre-plan the surgical procedure.
During surgery, the surgeon can view the operative site on the computer monitor. The surgeon can also visualize the positioning of the instruments and any anatomical structures hidden from their direct view. Your surgeon would be able to navigate through the complex spinal anatomy, select the specific type and size of instrumentation and even plot the trajectory of pedicle screws.
Image guided surgery offers the following benefits: