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Asham Khan, John Pollina, and Jeffrey P. Mullin

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Mohamed A. R. Soliman, Asham Khan, John Pollina, and Jeffrey P. Mullin

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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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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

OBJECTIVE

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.

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.

RESULTS

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).

CONCLUSIONS

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