Robotic-Guided Spine Surgery Study | Virginia Spine Institute
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VSI Surgeons Lead Research Study on Robotic-Guided Spine Surgery

Authored by Virginia Spine Institute, Dr. Christopher Good, MD, FACS, Dr. Thomas Schuler, MD, FACS, FAAOS, Dr. Colin Haines, MD, Dr. Ehsan Jazini, MD. December 9, 2021

The surgeons at the Virginia Spine Institute and the research team at the National Spine Health Foundation were led by principal investigator, Dr. Christopher Good, in a research project involving robotic-guided spine surgery which was published in the Journal of Robotic Surgery this month.  

Dr. Good, Dr. Schuler, Dr. Haines, and Dr. Jazini are highly recognized for their work in robotic-assisted spine surgery and have numerous publications and presentations on this topic. This surgical team specializes in treating patients with abnormal spinal alignment, broadly known as spinal deformities.  For this specific group of patients that undergo spinal fusion surgery to correct their alignment, the use of robotics has transformed the preoperative planning process for these often complex surgeries. During surgery, the location of screw placement is based on the surgeon’s preoperative plan, making the execution of screw placement highly accurate.

The purpose of this study was to determine the accuracy and complication rates associated with screws placed at the foundation of the spine, the interface of the lower spine and pelvis (called S2AI screws), whose location was pre-planned by the surgeon using the robotic software and then guided according to that plan during surgery.  These screws are unique because they are located at the foundation of the spinal column and provide a tremendous amount of support for the new spinal alignment achieved during surgery.  However, the surrounding nerve and vascular structures must be avoided during placement.

The findings in this recently published paper were excellent, showing that there were no complications related to these foundational screws, no need for revision surgery as a result of these screws, and accuracy rating was 100%.  The take-home message is that this robotic-guided technique for S2AI screw placement is reliable and accurate which significantly reduces the complications associated with alternative techniques for screw placement.

Patients with spinal malalignment can rest assured that this team of surgeons is dedicated to researching modern techniques to accomplish their complex surgeries.

Dr. Christopher Good 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.  Learn more about Dr. Christopher Good.

Dr. Thomas Schuler 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. Learn more about Dr. Schuler. 

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.

Dr. Ehsan Jazini 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. Learn more about Dr. Jazini.

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