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Lindsay D. Orosz, Fenil R. Bhatt, Ehsan Jazini, Marcel Dreischarf, Priyanka Grover, Julia Grigorian, Rita Roy, Thomas C. Schuler, Christopher R. Good, and Colin M. Haines

OBJECTIVE

The analysis of sagittal alignment by measuring spinopelvic parameters has been widely adopted among spine surgeons globally, and sagittal imbalance is a well-documented cause of poor quality of life. These measurements are time-consuming but necessary to make, which creates a growing need for an automated analysis tool that measures spinopelvic parameters with speed, precision, and reproducibility without relying on user input. This study introduces and evaluates an algorithm based on artificial intelligence (AI) that fully automatically measures spinopelvic parameters.

METHODS

Two hundred lateral lumbar radiographs (pre- and postoperative images from 100 patients undergoing lumbar fusion) were retrospectively analyzed by board-certified spine surgeons who digitally measured lumbar lordosis, pelvic incidence, pelvic tilt, and sacral slope. The novel AI algorithm was also used to measure the same parameters. To evaluate the agreement between human and AI-automated measurements, the mean error (95% CI, SD) was calculated and interrater reliability was assessed using the 2-way random single-measure intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). ICC values larger than 0.75 were considered excellent.

RESULTS

The AI algorithm determined all parameters in 98% of preoperative and in 95% of postoperative images with excellent ICC values (preoperative range 0.85–0.92, postoperative range 0.81–0.87). The mean errors were smallest for pelvic incidence both pre- and postoperatively (preoperatively −0.5° [95% CI −1.5° to 0.6°] and postoperatively 0.0° [95% CI −1.1° to 1.2°]) and largest preoperatively for sacral slope (−2.2° [95% CI −3.0° to −1.5°]) and postoperatively for lumbar lordosis (3.8° [95% CI 2.5° to 5.0°]).

CONCLUSIONS

Advancements in AI translate to the arena of medical imaging analysis. This method of measuring spinopelvic parameters on spine radiographs has excellent reliability comparable to expert human raters. This application allows users to accurately obtain critical spinopelvic measurements automatically, which can be applied to clinical practice. This solution can assist physicians by saving time in routine work and by avoiding error-prone manual measurements.

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Jason I. Liounakos, Asham Khan, Karen Eliahu, Jennifer Z. Mao, Christopher R. Good, John Pollina, Colin M. Haines, Jeffrey L. Gum, Thomas C. Schuler, Ehsan Jazini, Richard V. Chua, Eiman Shafa, Avery L. Buchholz, Martin H. Pham, Kornelis A. Poelstra, and Michael Y. Wang

OBJECTIVE

Robotics is a major area for research and development in spine surgery. The high accuracy of robot-assisted placement of thoracolumbar pedicle screws is documented in the literature. The authors present the largest case series to date evaluating 90-day complication, revision, and readmission rates for robot-assisted spine surgery using the current generation of robotic guidance systems.

METHODS

An analysis of a retrospective, multicenter database of open and minimally invasive thoracolumbar instrumented fusion surgeries using the Mazor X or Mazor X Stealth Edition robotic guidance systems was performed. Patients 18 years of age or older and undergoing primary or revision surgery for degenerative spinal conditions were included. Descriptive statistics were used to calculate rates of malpositioned screws requiring revision, as well as overall complication, revision, and readmission rates within 90 days.

RESULTS

In total, 799 surgical cases (Mazor X: 48.81%; Mazor X Stealth Edition: 51.19%) were evaluated, involving robot-assisted placement of 4838 pedicle screws. The overall intraoperative complication rate was 3.13%. No intraoperative implant-related complications were encountered. Postoperatively, 129 patients suffered a total of 146 complications by 90 days, representing an incidence of 16.1%. The rate of an unrecognized malpositioned screw resulting in a new postoperative radiculopathy requiring revision surgery was 0.63% (5 cases). Medical and pain-related complications unrelated to hardware placement accounted for the bulk of postoperative complications within 90 days. The overall surgical revision rate at 90 days was 6.63% with 7 implant-related revisions, representing an implant-related revision rate of 0.88%. The 90-day readmission rate was 7.13% with 2 implant-related readmissions, representing an implant-related readmission rate of 0.25% of cases.

CONCLUSIONS

The results of this multicenter case series and literature review suggest current-generation robotic guidance systems are associated with low rates of intraoperative and postoperative implant-related complications, revisions, and readmissions at 90 days. Future outcomes-based studies are necessary to evaluate complication, revision, and readmission rates compared to conventional surgery.

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Matthew Mantell, Mathew Cyriac, Colin M. Haines, Manasa Gudipally, and Joseph R. O’Brien

OBJECT

Insufficient biomechanical data exist from comparisons of the stability of expandable lateral cages with that of static transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) cages. The purpose of this biomechanical study was to compare the relative rigidity of L4–5 expandable lateral interbody constructs with or without additive pedicle screw fixation with that of L4–5 static TLIF cages in a novel cadaveric spondylolisthesis model.

METHODS

Eight human cadaver spines were used in this study. A spondylolisthesis model was created at the L4–5 level by creating 2 injuries. First, in each cadaver, a nucleotomy from 2 channels through the anterior side was created. Second, the cartilage of the facet joint was burred down to create a gap of 4 mm. Light-emitting-diode tracking markers were placed at L-3, L-4, L-5, and S-1. Specimens were tested in the following scenarios: intact model, bilateral pedicle screws, expandable lateral 18-mm-wide cage (alone, with unilateral pedicle screws [UPSs], and with bilateral pedicle screws [BPSs]), expandable lateral 22-mm-wide cage (alone, with UPSs, and with BPSs), and TLIF (alone, with UPSs, and with BPSs). Four of the spines were tested with the expandable lateral cages (18-mm cage followed by the 22-mm cage), and 4 of the spines were tested with the TLIF construct. All these constructs were tested in flexion-extension, axial rotation, and lateral bending.

RESULTS

The TLIF-alone construct was significantly less stable than the 18- and 22-mm-wide lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) constructs and the TLIF constructs with either UPSs or BPSs. The LLIF constructs alone were significantly less stable than the TLIF construct with BPSs. However, there was no significant difference between the 18-mm LLIF construct with UPSs and the TLIF construct with BPSs in any of the loading modes.

CONCLUSIONS

Expandable lateral cages with UPSs provide stability equivalent to that of a TLIF construct with BPSs in a degenerative spondylolisthesis model.