Robotic-Assisted Scoliosis Surgery

In 2007, our Spine Program Medical Director, Dennis P. Devito, MD, was the first surgeon in the U.S. to use the robot-assisted device on children with scoliosis. The industry average for accuracy with the robot-assisted device is about 85 to 90 percent, but Dr. Devito has an accuracy rate of more than 99 percent.

Here is how the procedure works:

  • Using a preoperative CT scan of the spine, the surgeon plans the surgery and evaluates the placement of pedicle screws.
  • The surgical plan is then downloaded to a spine-assist computer work station.
  • The spine-assist platform is clamped onto your child’s spine.
  • Two fluoroscopic images are taken to orient the spine-assist CT scan and operative plan to your child’s anatomy.
  • The surgeon labels the first vertebra and pedicle, and the spine-assist device moves into position.
  • The arm adjusts to the preset angle of the pedicle screw’s placement.
  • Through the robot arm, the surgeon uses a drill to prepare the hole; the surgeon probes the hole and then inserts the pedicle screw based on the trajectory set by the robotic device.
  • The screws anchor the rods that hold the spine in place, which allows for proper fusion of the bones.

Benefits of Robot-assisted Technology:

  • Greater precision
  • Fewer complications
  • Less radiation exposure from the more commonly used fluoroscopy
  • Less time in the operating room
  • Lower revision rates
  • Better preoperative planning