Doctors at Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas have become the first west of the Rocky Mountains to perform spinal fusion surgery using a new sophisticated robotic-guided technology that brings a new level of accuracy to these delicate operations.
On Jan. 10, Scripps orthopedic surgeons Neville Alleyne, MD, and Payam Moazzaz, MD, performed lumbar spinal fusion surgery on a patient using the Mazor X surgical guidance system, which was commercially launched in October. In the coming weeks, doctors expect to use the Mazor X to perform cervical and thoracic spinal fusions.
Potential candidates for Mazor X robotic spine surgery include patients with degenerative spine conditions, scoliosis, spinal deformities, spinal stenosis, and spinal injury, infection or tumors. Published clinical data show that robotic-assisted technology offers a variety of benefits to back surgery patients, including highly accurate screw placement, shorter hospital stays and fewer complications compared to conventional open surgery.
Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure that is effective in relieving symptoms of many back conditions in which motion between vertebrae is the source of pain. The procedure fuses together the painful, unstable vertebrae so that they heal into a single, solid bone. More than 400,000 spinal fusions are performed in the United States annually, according to medical news website Medscape.
A comprehensive, integrated approach
Mazor X uses a variety of integrated technologies that enable spine surgeons to develop a pre-operative treatment plan, make automated measurement and alignment calculations, and provide precise intraoperative guidance and verification to ensure the surgical plan is followed to each patient’s unique specifications. Currently, 11 other Mazor X systems are in clinical use in the United States. Scripps Encinitas has the only Mazor X west of the Rockies.
“This new approach represents a big step forward for patients, because it enables surgeons to be even more precise, consistent and efficient in the operating room,” said Dr. Alleyne. “It opens the door for patients with a variety of spinal issues to benefit from this leading-edge treatment approach.”
Improved from earlier generations
In recent years, minimally invasive back surgery has been introduced as an alternative to the traditional, invasive open surgery. Robotic-assisted technology is used in only about one in 20 spine procedures today, but adoption could grow rapidly. According to a recent report in the trade publication Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry, surgeons expect the rate of robotic-guided spine surgeries to double during the next year, and a decade from now more than one in four spine surgeries could be performed using robotic surgical guidance systems.
Developed by Mazor Robotics, Mazor X is a significant improvement to earlier generations of robotic spine surgery technology. Mazor X has been clinically validated in a variety of patient cases and is cleared by the FDA. It is the result of years of development by robotic, algorithm and imaging experts.
Excellence in spine injury treatment
The Mazor X technology builds on an already strong spine care program at Scripps Health. In 2016, U.S. News & World Report ranked Scripps’ orthopedics program among the top 50 nationally (No. 34). Scripps Health offers patients a choice of more orthopedists devoted to the treatment of spine conditions than any other regional health care provider. Scripps provides advanced care for a wide range of spine and back conditions, including diagnostic imaging, non-surgical interventions and a range of minimally invasive and conventional surgical procedures.
Ongoing improvements at Scripps Encinitas
The addition of Mazor X continues a string of improvements at Scripps Encinitas. In February, the hospital opened an expansion of its surgical services department, including two new state-of-the-art operating rooms, bringing its total to six. Sophisticated new surgical microscopes and a new high-definition endoscopy camera system were also added.
In September 2015, two new neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) bays were added to the Leichtag Family Birth Pavilion, bringing the hospital’s total to eight NICU beds. In July 2014, the hospital opened the Leichtag Foundation Critical Care Pavilion, home to a 26-bed emergency department and 36-bed medical-surgical inpatient unit.
Tradition of surgical excellence
Scripps Encinitas offers patients top-quality surgical care delivered by experienced, caring professionals. The hospital’s team of highly qualified, board-certified surgeons, physician specialists, anesthesiologists, nurses and other health professionals provide medical care across a wide variety of surgical specialties.
Learn more about Scripps Health, a nonprofit integrated health system in San Diego, Calif.