U.S. Spine Surgeons Earn Top International Award | Virginia Spine Institute
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U.S. Spine Surgeons Earn Top International Award

Authored by Dr. Ehsan Jazini, MD, Dr. Christopher Good, MD, FACS, Dr. Thomas Schuler, MD, FACS, FAAOS, Dr. Colin Haines, MD. April 3, 2023

RESTON, VIRGINIA – April 3, 2023 – Spine surgeons Ehsan Jazini, MD, Christopher Good, MD, Thomas Schuler, MD, and Colin Haines, MD of the Virginia Spine Institute in Reston, VA, are being honored by the Global Spine Journal with its 2022 Best Paper Award for their research on augmented reality(AR). The Journal’s Editor-in-Chief has announced the paper “Augmented Reality-Assisted Spine Surgery: An Early Experience Demonstrating Safety and Accuracy with 218 Screws” has won a Global Spine Journal’s 2022 Best Paper Award.

The research paper was chosen out of hundreds of pieces of research due to the quality and topic, as well as the number of citations and downloads it received. All four spine surgeons, as contributing authors, will receive a certificate in recognition of their work on this paper. 

The Award will be presented at the Global Spine Congress in Prague on Thursday, June 1, 2023. 

Augmented Reality – Assisted Spine Surgery: An Early Experience Demonstrating Safety and Accuracy with 218 Screws

The surgeons’ research showed that spine surgery done between October 2020 and August 2021 using the new FDA-approved augmented reality or AR device provides X-ray vision of the spine that improves the overall effectiveness and accuracy of the procedure. 

  • There was a 97.1% accuracy
  • There were no intraoperative issues or complications
  • No screws had to be revised


Lead Author and Spine Surgeon – Ehsan Jazini, MD

“It’s an honor to receive this award for our research which highlights the important role of technology in the operating room and ultimately improves patient outcomes. This was a large-scale study conducted in live surgery. It advances what we know about AR-assisted spine surgery and offers tremendous insight over previous research that has been small and cadaveric.” 

Co-Author and Spine Surgeon – Christopher Good, MD

“Our practice was an early adopter of AR, and we’ve seen its benefits for a while. This study answers the question for others who may have wondered whether AR-assisted spine surgery is a fad or has real value. Procedures using this innovative headset exhibited 97% accuracy – well above industry averages. We also had zero screws needing to be revised, which is significant amid ongoing industry efforts to reduce revision rates.”

Co-Author and Spine Surgeon – Thomas Schuler, MD

“Our patient outcomes demonstrate that technology like augmented reality makes the surgical process more efficient. This is important information for surgeons and their patients, and we’re honored to have gained notoriety for this research.

Co-Author, Director of Research, and Spine Surgeon – Colin Haines, MD 

“This study illustrates that technology is advancing our field in meaningful ways. It demonstrates the importance of looking beyond traditional freehand techniques with spine surgery. The use of such advanced technology is supported by data showing that this technology can lead to improved accuracy and better patient outcomes by decreasing complications.”



Dr. Christopher Good
Spine Surgeon and President of Virginia Spine Institute

He is a double board certified spine surgeon and the President of Virginia Spine Institute. Established as a world expert in the field, Dr. Good has pioneered the use of robotics, navigation, and augmented reality (AR) in spine surgery. He performed the first two-level disc replacement in Metro DC, Maryland, and Virginia region, and continues to evolve motion-enhancing procedures for patients suffering from neck and back conditions. Dr. Good has been named “Top Doctor” consistently over the past decade.

Dr. Thomas Schuler 
Spine Surgeon and Founder/CEO of Virginia Spine Institute

He is a world-renowned, double board certified spine surgeon; trained in both neurosurgery and orthopedic surgery of the spine. He founded Virginia Spine Institute in 1992 and is a recognized international leader in the treatment of neck and lower back conditions. Dr. Schuler is noted among the 100 best spine surgeons in America, and serves as President of the National Spine Health Foundation as well as Chairman of its Medical and Scientific Board.

Dr. Ehsan Jazini
Spine Surgeon

He is a board-certified spine surgeon at Virginia Spine Institute. He has been the first in the nation, and in the world, to perform advanced surgical techniques in cervical disc replacement, augmented reality (AR) spine surgery, and robotic spine surgery. Dr. Jazini was the first in the world to perform Augmented Reality guided personalized spine implant surgery using artificial intelligence. As a leading published author in the field of spine surgery, Dr. Jazini was selected as the Editor in Chief of The Spine Health Journal for the National Spine Health Foundation.

Dr. Colin Haines
Spine Surgeon and Director of Research

He 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.



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