Better Back Surgery


NEW YORK, N.Y. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Back pain is the leading cause of disability among American adults under the age of 65. An estimated 500,000 lumbar spine surgeries are done every year. Now, new technology that is similar to the navigation system for self-driving cars is improving accuracy and patient safety in the operating room. Back surgery

For 66-year-old Sam DeMaria, this is a victory. DeMaria’s been living with chronic back pain for 15 years. DeMaria had six back surgeries over the years. The first five brought temporary relief, but then he’d be laid up again.

“The only comfort I had was in my bed, on my back, with pillows under my leg. That was it. If I came downstairs, I lasted five minutes, went right back upstairs,” DeMaria recalls.

Mount Sinai neurosurgeon, Jeremy Steinberger, MD explains, “He had scoliosis and multi-level, basically, numerous nerves that were getting compressed in numerous places.”

(Read Full Interview)

Dr. Steinberger and his team performed DeMaria’s sixth surgery, but this time, they had a new navigation system — using machine vision technology.

“You can basically touch a probe to the patient, and you see where you are on the patient’s spine,” Dr. Steinberger tells Ivanhoe.

Machine vision technology is similar to the technology and sophisticated software used in self-driving cars. In a surgical suite, special cameras analyze the anatomy and create a 3D image. A light overhead takes a “flash” image. In four seconds, it gives surgeons thousands of fiducial points to register a patient’s CT scans.

Dr. Steinberger adds, “That’s what links the patient to the technology and that’s when you can check to confirm that you’re accurate.”

DeMaria exclaims, “I was pain free after the surgery. I’m standing up straight and that’s what I wanted to accomplish.”

One added benefit to the technology is that the new navigation system does not require a patient to have fluoroscopy medical imaging that requires a continuous X-ray image on a monitor, so that reduces radiation.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Producer; Kirk Manson, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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REPORT:       MB #5161

BACKGROUND: While most back pain is caused by muscle strain, injury or spinal deformity, it can also be caused by a systemic or rheumatic illness. Pain is considered chronic when it is present for more than three months. Back pain can develop anywhere from the neck to the lower spine. The pain can be localized or spread across a wide area and radiate from a central point. Nearly 65 million Americans report a recent episode of back pain. Some 16 million adults — 8 percent of all adults — experience persistent or chronic back pain, and as a result are limited in certain everyday activities. Back pain is the sixth most costly condition in the United States.


DIAGNOSING: Back pain can range from a muscle aching to a shooting, burning or stabbing sensation. Also, the pain can radiate down a leg. Bending, twisting, lifting, standing or walking can make it worse. To diagnose chronic back pain, your health care provider will examine your back and assess your ability to sit, stand, walk and lift your legs. Your provider might also ask you to rate your pain on a scale of zero to 10 and talk to you about how your pain affects your daily activities. A series of tests, like x-rays, MRI or CT scans, blood tests, and nerve studies, might help pinpoint the cause of the excruciating discomfort.


NEW TECHNOLOGY: The 7D Surgical Machine-vision Image Guided Surgery technology (MvIGS) for spinal procedures guides the surgeon with a highly detailed three-dimensional image taken in just four seconds. This replaces a radiographic image taken intermittently during traditional robotic surgery (fluoroscopy). The image created by the system is matched up digitally with the patient’s existing pre-operative scan to create a seamless, real-time image of the patient’s anatomy. 7D Surgical technology for spinal implants greatly reduces a patient’s exposure to radiation that is commonly associated with traditional robotic approaches. The 7D Surgical system uses sophisticated camera technology, similar to self-driving cars, to create a three-dimensional photographic image in three to four seconds resulting in shorter more efficient procedures.



Elizabeth Dowling

(347) 541-0212

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Doctor Q and A

Read the entire Doctor Q&A for Dr. Jeremy Steinberger, MD

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