What happens when you marry 3D printing with pre-op planning using a CT scan? Answer: a mechanical guidance system specific to each cortical screw. That, in turn gives the surgeon an ability to pre-surgically plan midline trajectories in thoracolumbar spinal fusion surgery. No complex and expensive computer navigation or robots required.
With this system surgeons submit a CT scan that is segmented and converted into a 3D virtual spine. The surgeon’s desired midline trajectories are planned in a 3D environment and then sent to the surgeon for review and approval. Once approved, a Navigation Guide is designed to conform to the trajectory and to guide the drill to the desired entry point for the navigation-enabled screw. Each Guide is 3D printed from a biocompatible resin and is paired with two cortical screws of predetermined size. This simplified approach to navigation makes screw placement in a midline trajectory highly accurate.
The rate of misplaced screws ranges from 10-30%. Despite its clear benefits, surgeons only use navigation in roughly 25% of cases. This is due to access issues, added complexity, added time in the OR, and radiation exposure.
With limited budgets, hospitals should be attracted to a navigation option that is as accurate as the more expensive options but don’t require upfront capital spending.
The Mighty Oak solution addresses these issues and will help make navigation a standard of care in spinal fusion surgery.
This article originally appeared on Ryotho’s 10 Best Spine Technologies of 2016