Initial single-institution experience with a novel robotic-navigation system for thoracolumbar pedicle screw and pelvic screw placement with 643 screws

Deeptee Jain, Jordan Manning, Elizabeth Lord, Themistocles Protopsaltis, Yong Kim, Aaron J. Buckland, John Bendo, Charla Fischer, Jeffrey Goldstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: Robotic-guided navigation systems for pedicle screw placement has gained recent interest to ensure accuracy and safety and diminish radiation exposure. There have been no published studies using a new combined robotics and navigation system (Globus ExcelsiusGPS system). The purpose of this study was to demonstrate safety with this system. Methods: This is a case series of consecutive patients at a single institution from February 1, 2018, to August 31, 2018. All patients who had planned placement of thoracic and lumbar pedicle screws using the combined robotics-navigation system were included. Chart review was performed for operative details. A subgroup analysis was performed on patients with postoperative computed tomography (CT) scans to assess screw placement accuracy using the Gertzbein and Robbins system. Acceptable pedicle screw position was defined as grade A or B. Results: One hundred six patients were included, with 636 pedicle screws, 6 iliac screws, and 1 S2AI screw. Five cases were aborted for technical issues. In the remaining 101 patients, 88 patients had screws placed using preoperative CT planning and 13 patients using intraoperative fluoroscopy planning. All screws except for 5 pedicle screws in 2 patients were placed successfully using the robot (99%). These 5 pedicle screws were placed by converting to a fluoro-guided technique without robotic assistance. Eighty-six patients had screws placed using a percutaneous technique, and 15 patients had screws placed using an open technique. Ninety-eight patients underwent interbody placement: 28 anterior lumbar interbody fusions (ALIFs), 12 lateral lumbar interbody fusions (LLIFs), and 58 transforaminal lumbar interbody fusions (TLIFs). All ALIFs and LLIFs were performed prior to placement of the screws. Four LIF patients had screws placed in the lateral position. No patients had screw-related complications intraoperatively or postoperatively, and no patients returned to the operating room for screw revision. Thirteen patients underwent postoperative CT for various reasons. Of the 66 pedicle screws that were examined with postoperative CT, all screws (100%) had acceptable position. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that the combined robotics and navigation system is a novel technology that can be utilized to place pedicle screws and pelvic screws safely and has the potential to reduce screw-related complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-463
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Spine Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Complications
  • Navigation
  • Pedicle screw placement
  • Robotics
  • Screw accuracy
  • Spine surgery


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