Spine-straightening surgery to relieve back pain
Patients who have suffered for years with back pain may find relief through the improved accuracy of surgery with the Mazor Robotics Renaissance® Guidance System at ETMC Tyler. Two surgeons with Azalea Orthopedics perform the surgery: Michael Merrick, MD, and Todd Raabe, MD.
“We can do it more accurately and we can do it faster with the Mazor system,” Dr. Merrick said.
“It’s more than 99 percent accurate, versus doing it freehand, which is maybe 85 to 90 percent.” “It has been incredibly precise and more reliable than any other image-guided system I’ve ever used. It makes me better and more accurate,” Dr. Raabe said.
Back surgery has come a long way
The Mazor Robotics system has improved the accuracy of spinal surgery. Before each operation, the Mazor system’s software converts a CT scan of the patient into a 3-D image of the patient’s spine. This gives the surgeon an individualized plan to bring the spine into alignment. The system guides the surgeon’s placement of each pin and rod.
As a result, the Mazor Renaissance Guidance System offers:
- Greater accuracy (1.5mm registration value, compared to FDA-required 2mm registration value; 99.8 percent accurate in a major study on scoliosis deformity)
- Reduced fluoroscopy (up to 75 percent less radiation exposure)
- Better patient outcomes (reduced hospital stay and fewer complications, postoperative infections and revision procedures)
Dr. Merrick explained that surgery is considered after more conservative options are ruled out: “We talk about physical therapy, injections, chiropractic care, and I tell patients to give all those things a try. Most of the time they’ve already tried that stuff and they don’t get relief. So then we get a CT scan for the Mazor and we do surgery.”
Dr. Raabe praised the Mazor system. “We do a much better job of planning with that software than I’ve ever been able to do before. It’s a major investment and a piece of technology that I think is wonderful and really advances the quality of spinal care. And it certainly allows us to keep more of those patients in East Texas from having to travel.”
Mazor Robotics Renaissance Spine Surgery is available in East Texas only at ETMC. For more information, please call 903-747-4110.