Intraoperative Navigation in Spine Surgery: Effects on Complications and Reoperations

William H. Shuman, Aly A. Valliani, Emily K. Chapman, Michael L. Martini, Sean N. Neifert, Rebecca B. Baron, Alexander J. Schupper, Jeremy M. Steinberger, John M. Caridi

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1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Intraoperative navigation during spine surgery improves pedicle screw placement accuracy. However, limited studies have correlated the use of navigation with clinical factors, including operative time and safety. In the present study, we compared the complications and reoperations between surgeries with and without navigation. Methods: The National Surgical Quality Improvement Project database was queried for posterior cervical and lumbar fusions and deformity surgeries from 2011 to 2018 and divided by navigation use. Patients aged >89 years, patients with deformity aged <25 years, and patients undergoing surgery for tumors, fractures, infections, or nonelective indications were excluded. The demographics and perioperative factors were compared via univariate analysis. The outcomes were compared using multivariable logistic regression adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, American Society of Anesthesiologists class, surgical region, and multiple treatment levels. The outcomes were also compared stratifying by revision status. Results: Navigation surgery patients had had higher American Society of Anesthesiologists class (P < 0.0001), more multiple level surgeries (P < 0.0001), and longer operative times (P < 0.0001). The adjusted analysis revealed that navigated lumbar surgery had lower odds of complications (odds ratio [OR], 0.82; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.77–0.90; P < 0.0001), blood transfusion (OR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.72–0.87; P < 0.0001), and wound debridement and/or drainage (OR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.44–0.97; P = 0.04) compared with non-navigated lumbar surgery. Navigated cervical fusions had increased odds of transfusions (OR, 1.53; 95% CI, 1.06–2.23; P = 0.02). Navigated primary fusion had decreased odds of complications (OR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.85–0.98; P = 0.01). However, no differences were found in revisions (OR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.69–1.14; P = 0.34). Conclusions: Navigated surgery patients experienced longer operations owing to a combination of the time required for navigation, more multilevel procedures, and a larger comorbidity burden, without differences in the incidence of infection. Fewer complications and wound washouts were required for navigated lumbar surgery owing to a greater proportion percentage of minimally invasive cases. The combined use of navigation and minimally invasive surgery might benefit patients with the proper indications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e404-e411
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • Complications
  • Navigation
  • Outcomes
  • Reoperations
  • Spine surgery


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