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Advanced imaging technology used at Mayo Clinic improves spinal surgery outcome
Date:12/10/2008

w. An image-guided screwdriver is used to place a screw.

In most other institutions, pedicle screws are placed using a freehand technique or by fluoroscopy, which uses X-rays to capture a one-dimensional image on a television screen of the process of screw placement. Not only is the image less detailed, but both patients and the operating room staff can be exposed to radiation and must use lead clothing for protection, Dr. Nottmeier says. Almost all patients in this study were given a CT scan following surgery so that a radiologist could independently determine how well the screws were placed.

"Every person's spine is a little bit unique," Dr. Nottmeier says, "and unexpected variations in bone shape and density can make screw placement in the spine more challenging, especially in patients who have had previous spine surgery." Almost half of the patients in the Mayo study had a previous spine surgery.

"This technique allows us to have the best view possible of the vertebrae as we operate," Dr. Nottmeier says.

Based on the success of the technique, the image guidance system is now used in all spinal screw operations at Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida.

Two different image guided systems were used in this study: the "Stealth Treon," manufactured by Medtronic of Littleton, Mass., and the "BrainLAB Vector Vision," from BrainLAB in Westchester, Ill. Nottmeier is a paid consultant for BrainLAB, however, this study was done independently and did not involve any company funding.


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Contact: Cynthia Nelson
nelson.cynthia1@mayo.edu
904-953-2299
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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