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Dr. Haines Performs Lumbar Spinal Fusion With Augmented Reality

Authored by Dr. Colin Haines, MD. November 25, 2020

BREAKING NEWS — November 19, 2020, Reston, Virginia — Dr. Colin Haines utilizes augmented reality (AR) for lumbar fusion surgery, ensuring faster recovery and less pain for patients.

In this newsmaking lumbar spinal fusion surgery, Dr. Haines used augmented reality to place the spinal instrumentation. One of the many benefits of utilizing augmented reality in surgeries is the lack of muscle cutting, which creates a less painful and shorter recovery time for the patient. “With this method, we can minimize the damage to the muscles as compared to traditional spine surgery,” Dr. Haines said, “put simply, the surgery and recovery don’t hurt as much due to the minimally invasive use of AR, and recovery is faster, guaranteeing the patient’s return to a pain-free life.”

The AR “Xvision” system, made by Augmedics, makes it possible for surgeons to visualize a patient’s 3D spinal anatomy during surgery – almost like we have ‘x-ray vision.’ This groundbreaking new technology has the potential to streamline and partner several technologies in the operating room, giving surgeons better control and making procedures easier, safer, faster, and less invasive. The surgery was performed at Reston Hospital Center (HCA Virginia Health System).

The technology utilizes all elements of a traditional navigation system, including a special headset the surgeon wears during the procedure. The navigation system projects the patient’s CT images into the surgeon’s headset, making it possible for him to see high-resolution 3D pictures inside the bones of the patient’s spine superimposed over the patient’s actual anatomy in real-time. The goggle headset, worn by the surgeon, accurately determines the position of surgical tools and superimposes them on the patient’s vital data, so the doctor never has to take his eyes off the patient.

“In the field of spine surgery we just keep getting better and better,” Dr. Haines says. “Augmented reality is one of the latest and greatest advances in spine surgery. As this technology grows, it’ll make spinal instrumentation more accurate and safer, which means a faster, return to patients’ normal lives. I see this technology as a stepping stone to what the future holds in spine surgery.”

If you are interested in learning whether augmented reality could be an option for your spinal treatment, schedule a consultation today.


Dr. Colin Haines is a board certified spine surgeon and the Director of Research at Virginia Spine Institute. Dr. Haines performed the world’s first combined endoscopic and robot-guided spine surgery. His patient success has earned him a national feature on The Today Show and WebMD, and Top Doctor recognition in consecutive years.. Learn more about Dr. Haines.

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Reviewed by: Dr. Colin Haines, MD.

Reviewed by: Dr. Colin Haines, MD.

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Dr. Colin Haines, MD

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