Robotic Tools for Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery

Filed in by on September 11, 2014 • views: 440
Robotic Tools for Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery

We are developing a micro-robotic device for use in minimally invasive lumbar microdiscectomy procedures. This surgical procedure greatly improves the patient’s quality of life by removing herniated lumbar disc material that causes strain on the branching nerves of the spinal cord, resulting in lower back pain and sometimes even loss of feeling in one’s extremities. Currently, the only instruments available to remove herniated disc material consist of rigid probes with tips that manipulate and remove the patient’s tissue. The inability to freely move within the restricted surgical workspace of the spine, which in some cases can be as small as a cubic centimeter, increases the risk of inadvertent damage of the spinal nerves, as well as other potential risks that can leave the patient paralyzed or requiring further surgery. We are working with an orthopedic surgeon to come up with a system of flexible micro-robotic manipulators and end-effectors specifically for the lumbar microdiscectomy procedure.

Students: Yang Ding, Benjamin Johnson
Collaborators: Dr. Brian A. Cole, MD (Englewood Orthopedic Associates)