✓ Interactive frameless stereotaxy has been successfully applied to intracranial surgery. It has contributed to the improved localization of deep-seated brain lesions and has demonstrated a potential for reducing both operative time and morbidity. However, it has not been as effectively applied to spinal surgery.
The authors describe the application of frameless stereotactic techniques to spinal surgery, specifically pedicle screw fixation of the lumbosacral spine. Preoperative axial computerized tomography (CT) images of the appropriate spinal segments are obtained and loaded onto a high-speed graphics supercomputer workstation. Intraoperatively, these images can be linked to the appropriate spinal anatomy by a sonic localization digitizer device that is interfaced with the computer workstation. This permits the surgeon to place a pointing device (sonic wand) on any exposed spinal bone landmark in the operative field and obtain multiplanar reconstructed CT images projected in near-real time on the workstation screen. The images can be manipulated to assist the surgeon in determining the proper entry point for a pedicle screw as well as defining the appropriate trajectory in the axial and sagittal planes. It can also define the correct screw length and diameter for each pedicle to be instrumented.
The authors applied this device to the insertion of 150 screws into the lumbosacral spines of 30 patients. One hundred forty-nine screws were assessed to be satisfactorily placed by postoperative CT and plain film radiography. In this report the authors discuss their use of this device in the clinical setting and review their preliminary results of frameless stereotaxy applied to spinal surgery. On the basis of their findings, the authors conclude that frameless stereotactic technology can be successfully applied to spinal surgery.