Robotics technology proves successful for spine surgery patients

Jeffrey L. Gum, M.D., orthopedic spine surgeon with Norton Leatherman Spine, spoke with Orthopedics This Week at the North American Spine Society (NASS) annual conference about the latest in robotics-assisted surgery. Robotics technology increases reliability, accuracy and efficiency in the operation room.

“We are going to make the face of spine surgery look completely different in the future, which is good for our field right now,” Dr. Gum said.

About robotics technology for spine

Norton Leatherman Spine uses the Mazor X robotic surgical system — technology that can help reduce pain and make recovery time shorter following spine surgery in both adults and children.

Robotics technology has been used in hip and knee replacements, but it’s beginning to make its mark in spine surgery. The Mazor X system uses enhanced imaging software and GPS capabilities to help surgeons map out a plan, increasing the accuracy of screw placement and improving the overall efficiency of the surgery.

“It’s all about the angle in which the screws are placed that helps us reduce muscle stripping,” Dr. Gum said.

Because Mazor X guides the screws, the size of the incision decreases from almost 5 inches to less than 2 inches. This contributes to less pain and a faster recovery.

The average length of stay for Norton Leatherman Spine patients who underwent single-level lumbar fusion surgery was 3½ days.

“We have now performed more than 20 of these surgeries using the robotics technology, and almost all of our patients have left the next day,” Dr. Gum said.

Refer a patient

To refer a patient to Dr. Gum or any Norton Leatherman Spine provider, click here to complete the online referral form, or call (502) 629-1234, option 3.


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