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Kentaro Yamada, Yuichiro Abe and Shigenobu Satoh

OBJECTIVE

S-2 alar iliac (S2AI) screws are commonly used as anchors for lumbosacral fixation. A serious potential complication of screw insertion is major vascular injury due to anterior or caudal screw deviation. To avoid screw deviation, the pelvic inlet view on intraoperative fluoroscopy images is recommended. However, there has been no detailed investigation of optimal fluoroscopic incline with the pelvic inlet view. The purpose of this study was to investigate the safety margins and to optimize fluoroscopic settings to avoid screw deviation with 2 reported insertion techniques using 3D analysis software and CT.

METHODS

The study included 50 patients (25 men and 25 women) who underwent abdominal-pelvic CT. With the use of software, the ideal S2AI screws were set from 2 entry points: A) the midpoint between the S-1 dorsal foramen and the S-2 dorsal foramen where they meet the lateral sacral crest, and B) 1 mm inferior and 1 mm lateral to the S-1 dorsal foramen. Anteriorly or caudally deviated screws were defined as deviation of a half thread of the ideal screw by rotation anteriorly or caudally from the entry point. The angular safety margins were compared between the 2 entry points, and patients with small safety margins were investigated. Subsequently, fluoroscopic images were virtualized on ray sum–rendered images. Conditions that provided proper recognition of screw deviation were investigated via lateral and anteroposterior views with the beam tilted caudally.

RESULTS

The safety margins of S2AI screws were smaller in the anterior direction than in the caudal direction and by entry point A than by entry point B (A: 9.1° ± 1.6° and B: 9.7° ± 1.5° in the anterior direction; A: 10.9° ± 3.8° and B: 13.9° ± 4.1° in the caudal direction). In contrast, patients with a deep-seated L-5 vertebral body tended to have smaller safety margins in the caudal direction. All anteriorly deviated screws were recognized with a 60°–70° inlet view from the S-1 slope. The caudally deviated screws were all recognized on the lateral view, but 31% of screws at entry point A and 21% of screws at entry point B were not recognized on the pelvic inlet view.

CONCLUSIONS

S2AI screws should be carefully placed to avoid anterior deviation compared with caudal deviation in terms of the safety margin, except in patients with a deep-seated L-5. The difference in safety margins between entry points A and B was negligible. Intraoperative fluoroscopy is recommended with a pelvic inlet view tilted 60°–70° from the S-1 slope to avoid anterior screw deviation. The lateral view is recommended to confirm that the screw is not deviated caudally.

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Yuichiro Abe, Shigenobu Sato, Koji Kato, Takahiko Hyakumachi, Yasushi Yanagibashi, Manabu Ito and Kuniyoshi Abumi

Augmented reality (AR) is an imaging technology by which virtual objects are overlaid onto images of real objects captured in real time by a tracking camera. This study aimed to introduce a novel AR guidance system called virtual protractor with augmented reality (VIPAR) to visualize a needle trajectory in 3D space during percutaneous vertebroplasty (PVP).

The AR system used for this study comprised a head-mount display (HMD) with a tracking camera and a marker sheet. An augmented scene was created by overlaying the preoperatively generated needle trajectory path onto a marker detected on the patient using AR software, thereby providing the surgeon with augmented views in real time through the HMD. The accuracy of the system was evaluated by using a computer-generated simulation model in a spine phantom and also evaluated clinically in 5 patients.

In the 40 spine phantom trials, the error of the insertion angle (EIA), defined as the difference between the attempted angle and the insertion angle, was evaluated using 3D CT scanning. Computed tomography analysis of the 40 spine phantom trials showed that the EIA in the axial plane significantly improved when VIPAR was used compared with when it was not used (0.96° ± 0.61° vs 4.34° ± 2.36°, respectively). The same held true for EIA in the sagittal plane (0.61° ± 0.70° vs 2.55° ± 1.93°, respectively).

In the clinical evaluation of the AR system, 5 patients with osteoporotic vertebral fractures underwent VIPAR-guided PVP from October 2011 to May 2012. The postoperative EIA was evaluated using CT. The clinical results of the 5 patients showed that the EIA in all 10 needle insertions was 2.09° ± 1.3° in the axial plane and 1.98° ± 1.8° in the sagittal plane. There was no pedicle breach or leakage of polymethylmethacrylate.

VIPAR was successfully used to assist in needle insertion during PVP by providing the surgeon with an ideal insertion point and needle trajectory through the HMD. The findings indicate that AR guidance technology can become a useful assistive device during spine surgeries requiring percutaneous procedures.

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Yuichiro Abe, Manabu Ito, Kuniyoshi Abumi, Yoshihisa Kotani, Hideki Sudo and Akio Minami

Object

Use of computer-assisted spine surgery (CASS) technologies, such as navigation systems, to improve the accuracy of pedicle screw (PS) placement is increasingly popular. Despite of their benefits, previous CASS systems are too expensive to be ubiquitously employed, and more affordable and portable systems are desirable. The aim of this study was to introduce a novel and affordable computer-assisted technique that 3-dimensionally visualizes anatomical features of the pedicles and assists in PS insertion. The authors have termed this the 3D-visual guidance technique for inserting pedicle screws (3D-VG TIPS).

Methods

The 3D-VG technique for placing PSs requires only a consumer-class computer with an inexpensive 3D DICOM viewer; other special equipment is unnecessary. Preoperative CT data of the spine were collected for each patient using the 3D-VG TIPS. In this technique, the anatomical axis of each pedicle can be analyzed by volume-rendered 3D models, as with existing navigation systems, and both the ideal entry point and the trajectory of each PS can be visualized on the surface of 3D-rendered images. Intraoperative guidance slides are made from these images and displayed on a TV monitor in the operating room. The surgeon can insert PSs according to these guidance slides. The authors enrolled 30 patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) who underwent posterior fusion with segmental screw fixation for validation of this technique.

Results

The novel technique allowed surgeons, from office or home, to evaluate the precise anatomy of each pedicle and the risks of screw misplacement, and to perform 3D preoperative planning for screw placement on their own computer. Looking at both 3D guidance images on a TV monitor and the bony structures of the posterior elements in each patient in the operating theater, surgeons were able to determine the best entry point for each PS with ease and confidence. Using the current technique, the screw malposition rate was 4.5% in the thoracic region in corrective surgery for AIS.

Conclusions

The authors found that 3D-VG TIPS worked on a consumer-class computer and easily visualized the ideal entry point and trajectory of PSs in any operating theater without costly special equipment. This new technique is suitable for preoperative planning and intraoperative guidance when performing reconstructive surgery with PSs.

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Katsuhisa Yamada, Hideki Sudo, Kiyoshi Kaneda, Yasuhiro Shono, Yuichiro Abe and Norimasa Iwasaki

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this retrospective study was to analyze the influence of upper instrumented vertebra (UIV) translation from the C7 plumb line (C7PL) on the long-term postoperative results of patients with main thoracic (MT) adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS).

METHODS

Twenty-five patients had been treated surgically for AIS with a Lenke type 1 curve and had been followed up for a mean period of 18.2 years. Radiographic parameters, pulmonary function measurements, and clinical outcomes were compared between the patients (n = 15) with UIV translation < 20 mm and those (n = 10) with UIV translation ≥ 20 mm at the final follow-up. Correlations between UIV translation and radiographic or pulmonary function parameters were analyzed.

RESULTS

Patients with ≥ 20 mm UIV translation at the final follow-up had a significantly larger preoperative UIV translation than that in the patients with < 20 mm UIV translation at follow-up. The former group also had a significantly lower correction rate of the MT curve, higher chest cage ratio, and lower radiographic shoulder height (p = 0.01, 0.005, and 0.025, respectively) at the final follow-up. The Scoliosis Research Society (SRS)–30 Questionnaire scores were equivalent between the two groups. Correlation analysis showed that the following parameters were significantly associated with UIV translation: MT curve correction rate (r = -0.481, p = 0.015), chest cage ratio (r = 0.673, p < 0.001), and percent-predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 second (r = -0.455, p = 0.033).

CONCLUSIONS

The UIV translation should be considered an important factor that influences postoperative results. In MT AIS patients whose preoperative upper end vertebra (UEV) is distant from the C7PL, the UIV should be selected above the UEV to prevent large UIV translation at the postoperative follow-up.