A new approach for safe planning transfer using semi-automatically adjustable instrument guides


A new approach for safe planning transfer using semi-automatically adjustable instrument guides, by Jeromin et al. MRCAS (2018) e1907


Accurate planning transfer is a prerequisite for successful operative care. For different applications, diverse computer‐assisted systems have been developed and clinically evaluated. This paper presents the implementation and evaluation of a new modular concept. The approach is based on passive application specific kinematics that are semi‐automatically adjusted using a universal hand‐held computer controlled Smart Screw Driver.

The system was realized for pedicle screw instrumentation and evaluated according to IEC 60601‐1‐6 (usability engineering). The accuracies of the drill holes achieved were comparable with robotic approaches, while operation time and radiation were reduced compared with conventional operation techniques. The adjustment procedure has proven high learnability and user satisfaction.

The next step will be optimization of the kinematic structure and fixation to the patient in order to increase accuracies of planning transfer as well as evaluation of the overall system by medical staff in preclinical and clinical studies.

Experimental set‐up for usability evaluation of the whole 4 DOF mechanism and SSD system for planning transfer of drilling sleeve

Use of 3D navigation in subaxial cervical spine lateral mass screw insertion


Open access Use of 3D Navigation in Subaxial Cervical Spine Lateral Mass Screw Insertion, by Arab et al. J Neurol Surg Rep 2018; 79(01): e1-e8

Objective Cervical spine can be stabilized by different techniques. One of the common techniques used is the lateral mass screws (LMSs), which can be inserted either by freehand techniques or three-dimensional (3D) navigation system. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the difference between the 3D navigation system and the freehand technique for cervical spine LMS placement in terms of complications. Including intraoperative complications (vertebral artery injury [VAI], nerve root injury [NRI], spinal cord injury [SCI], lateral mass fracture [LMF]) and postoperative complications (screw malposition, screw complications).

Methods Patients who had LMS fixation for their subaxial cervical spine from January 2014 to April 2015 at the Ottawa Hospital were included. A total of 284 subaxial cervical LMS were inserted in 40 consecutive patients. Surgical indications were cervical myelopathy and fractures. The screws’ size was 3.5 mm in diameter and 8 to 16 mm in length. During the insertion of the subaxial cervical LMS, the 3D navigation system was used for 20 patients, and the freehand technique was used for the remaining 20 patients. We reviewed the charts, X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, and follow-up notes for all the patients pre- and postoperatively.

Results Postoperative assessment showed that the incidence of VAI, SCI, and NRI were the same between the two groups. The CT scan analysis showed that the screw breakage, screw pull-outs, and screw loosening were the same between the two groups. LMF was less in the 3D navigation group but statistically insignificant. Screw malposition was less in the 3D navigation group compared with the freehand group and was statistically significant. The hospital stay, operative time, and blood loss were statistically insignificant between the two groups.

Conclusions The use of CT-based navigation in LMS insertion decreased the rate of screw malpositions as compared with the freehand technique. Further investigations and trials will determine the effect of malpositions on the c-spine biomechanics. The use of navigation in LMS insertion did not show a significant difference in VAI, LMF, SCI, or NRI as compared with the freehand technique.

Robotic drill guide positioning in spine surgery using known-component 3D–2D image registration

Robotic drill guide positioning using known-component 3D–2D image registration, by Yi, Ramchandran, Siewerdsen, and Uneri, J. of Medical Imaging (2018), 5(2):021212.


A method for x-ray image-guided robotic instrument positioning is reported and evaluated in preclinical studies of spinal pedicle screw placement with the aim of improving delivery of transpedicle K-wires and screws. The known-component (KC) registration algorithm was used to register the three-dimensional patient CT and drill guide surface model to intraoperative two-dimensional radiographs. Resulting transformations, combined with offline hand–eye calibration, drive the robotically held drill guide to target trajectories defined in the preoperative CT. The method was assessed in comparison with a more conventional tracker-based approach, and robustness to clinically realistic errors was tested in phantom and cadaver. Deviations from planned trajectories were analyzed in terms of target registration error (TRE) at the tooltip (mm) and approach angle (deg). In phantom studies, the KC approach resulted in TRE = 1.51 ± 0.51 mm and 1.01 deg ± 0.92 deg, comparable with accuracy in tracker-based approach. In cadaver studies with realistic anatomical deformation, the KC approach yielded TRE = 2.31 ± 1.05 mm and 0.66 deg ± 0.62 deg, with statistically significant improvement versus tracker (TRE = 6.09 ± 1.22 mm and 1.06 deg ± 0.90 deg). Robustness to deformation is attributed to relatively local rigidity of anatomy in radiographic views. X-ray guidance offered accurate robotic positioning and could fit naturally within clinical workflow of fluoroscopically guided procedures.

Treatment of sagittal fracture of the zygomatic arch root assisted by surgical navigation technology

Published ahead of print: Treatment of Sagittal Fracture of the Zygomatic Arch Root Assisted by Surgical Navigation Technology, by Dai et al. Journal of Craniofacial Surgery (2018).


Sagittal fracture at the temporal root of the zygomatic arch often occurs as a part of zygomaticomaxillary fractures. The authors described the application of computer-assisted navigation in the lag screw insertion for the fixation of sagittal fracture at the temporal root of zygomatic arch. Using the presurgical planning of the computer-assisted navigation system, the trajectory of lag screw insertion was designed, and the insertion depth was calculated. In the presurgical planning, the trajectory of screw insertion was placed with an anterior inclination of 10° to 15° (mean: 12.24°), and the screw insertion depth was 9.0 to 12.0 mm (mean: 10.65 mm). In the operation, the screw insertion in the fixation of the sagittal fracture was performed under the guidance of navigation system according to the presurgical planning. The postoperative CT scan showed exact reduction and fixation of the sagittal fracture in all cases. Computer-assisted navigation is a useful tool for the lag screw insertion in the precise fixation of sagittal fracture at the temporal root of the zygomatic arch in complex zygomaticomaxillary fractures.

(A) In the presurgical planning, the entry point (red point) and trajectory of screw insertion (red line) were designed in the mirrored zygomatic arch root, and the calculated screw insertion depth (yellow line) was 10.1mm in this case. (B) Registered surgical motor used for screw hole drilling. (C) The sagittal fractures at the zygomatic arch root. (D) Screw hole drilling according to presurgical planning under computer-assisted navigation, and the long axis of drill (yellow line) coincided with the designed trajectory (red line) in the axial, sagittal, and coronal planes. (E) Screw hole drilling performed with guidance of the computer-assisted navigation system.