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Asham Khan, Mohamed A. R. Soliman, Nathan J. Lee, Muhammad Waqas, Joseph M. Lombardi, Venkat Boddapati, Lauren C. Levy, Jennifer Z. Mao, Paul J. Park, Justin Mathew, Ronald A. Lehman Jr., Jeffrey P. Mullin, and John Pollina


Pedicle screw insertion for stabilization after lumbar fusion surgery is commonly performed by spine surgeons. With the advent of navigation technology, the accuracy of pedicle screw insertion has increased. Robotic guidance has revolutionized the placement of pedicle screws with 2 distinct radiographic registration methods, the scan-and-plan method and CT-to-fluoroscopy method. In this study, the authors aimed to compare the accuracy and safety of these methods.


A retrospective chart review was conducted at 2 centers to obtain operative data for consecutive patients who underwent robot-assisted lumbar pedicle screw placement. The newest robotic platform (Mazor X Robotic System) was used in all cases. One center used the scan-and-plan registration method, and the other used CT-to-fluoroscopy for registration. Screw accuracy was determined by applying the Gertzbein-Robbins scale. Fluoroscopic exposure times were collected from radiology reports.


Overall, 268 patients underwent pedicle screw insertion, 126 patients with scan-and-plan registration and 142 with CT-to-fluoroscopy registration. In the scan-and-plan cohort, 450 screws were inserted across 266 spinal levels (mean 1.7 ± 1.1 screws/level), with 446 (99.1%) screws classified as Gertzbein-Robbins grade A (within the pedicle) and 4 (0.9%) as grade B (< 2-mm deviation). In the CT-to-fluoroscopy cohort, 574 screws were inserted across 280 lumbar spinal levels (mean 2.05 ± 1.7 screws/ level), with 563 (98.1%) grade A screws and 11 (1.9%) grade B (p = 0.17). The scan-and-plan cohort had nonsignificantly less fluoroscopic exposure per screw than the CT-to-fluoroscopy cohort (12 ± 13 seconds vs 11.1 ± 7 seconds, p = 0.3).


Both scan-and-plan registration and CT-to-fluoroscopy registration methods were safe, accurate, and had similar fluoroscopy time exposure overall.