Navigated robot-guided pedicle screws placed successfully in single-position lateral lumbar interbody fusion.

Minimally invasive lateral interbody fusion has distinct advantages over traditional posterior approaches. When posterior stabilization is needed, percutaneous placement of pedicle screws from the lateral decubitus position may potentially increase safety and improve operative efficiency by precluding the need for repositioning. However, safe placement of pedicle screws in the lateral position remains technically challenging. This study describes the pedicle screw placement of single-position lateral lumbar interbody fusion (SP-LLIF) cases in which navigated robotic assistance was used. A single-surgeon, single-site, retrospective Institutional Review Board-exempt review of the first 55 SP-LLIF navigated robot-assisted spine surgery cases performed by the lead author was conducted. An orthopaedic surgeon evaluated screw placement using plain film radiographs. In addition, pedicle screw malposition, reposition, and return to operating room (OR) rates were collected. In the first 55 SP-LLIF cases, 342 pedicle screws were placed. The average patient age and body mass index were 67 years and 29.5 kg/m2, respectively. Of the 342 screws placed, 4% (14/342) were placed manually without the robot, due to surgeon discretion. Of the 328 screws placed with the robot, 2% (7/328) were repositioned based on the surgeon’s discretion, resulting in a 98% navigated robot-assisted pedicle screw placement success rate. In this cohort there were no revisions due to malpositioned screws. No complications due to screw placement were reported. This study demonstrates a high level (98%) of successful surgeon-assessed pedicle screw placement in minimally invasive navigated robot-assisted SP-LLIF, with no malpositions requiring a return to the OR.

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