Glendale hospital enhances spinal fusion procedures with GPS-guided robotic arm

Aug 31, 2023, 4:25 AM

PHOENIX — Abrazo Arrowhead Campus in Glendale has expanded its surgical robots with the addition of a GPS-guided robotic arm for spinal procedures.

Surgeons will use the Globus ExcelsiusGPS system for minimally invasive and complex spinal fusion surgeries, Abrazo Health announced Wednesday.

The robotic arm aligns tools for placing implants during the surgeries.

It will use intraoperative X-ray images and computer navigation following coordinates similar to a GPS roadmap to assist surgeons, according to a press release.

Dr. Kenneth Hood has performed over 300 spinal fusions and explained what the typical surgical candidate for the robotic arm can be used for.

“A typical candidate for this type of surgery would be someone who is living with severe back and radiating leg pain with surgical indications for fusion surgery, that has failed non-operative treatment and is seeking improved quality of life,” Hood said in a press release.

Which procedures can the robotic be used?

The GPS-guided arm can be used for posterior fusion, anterior lumbar interbody fusion, lateral lumbar interbody fusion, transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion and posterior lumbar interbody fusions, according to Abrazo Health.

How does the robotic arm work for spine surgeries?

Abrazo Health said medical images are taken and imported into the ExcelsiusGPS system. Following that, the surgeon plans the size and placement of the robot based on the images.

This plan will be used to guide the robotic arm like a GPS route which will be used to accurately place screws using computer navigation, Abrazo Health said.

While this is happening, the surgeon can see the surgical tools and the patient’s implant on the screen during the whole procedure.

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Glendale hospital enhances spinal fusion procedures with GPS-guided robotic arm