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New Technology Enables Anterior-Posterior Approaches During Same Spine Surgery

December 09, 2022

Using advanced robotically assisted techniques, board-certified neurosurgeons at Orlando Health have finetuned their approach to successfully correcting spinal deformity in adult scoliosis patients. The team annually repairs more than 50 complex spinal curvatures in adult idiopathic and degenerative scoliosis patients. 

New Technology Enables Anterior-Posterior 1 web
Left: Post-Surgery Spine
Right: Pre-Surgery Spine

“Not all spine surgeons routinely care for scoliosis patients like we do,” says Dr. Virgilio Matheus, director of spine surgery at Orlando Health Neuroscience Institute. “The high volumes associated with being the busiest deformity-correction center in Central Florida enable us to quickly identify what is out of the ordinary. And fix it.”

Addressing severe curvatures early helps patients maintain nerve function, alleviates pain and avoids cardiopulmonary complications. An integrated methodology is implemented to direct each case. The degree, magnitude and progression of curvature, as well as confounding factors such as obesity, are evaluated during patient assessment. Therapy ranges from conservative measures like physical therapy, pain management and weight loss to surgical intervention with advanced technical, minimally invasive and robotic navigations.

Virgilio Matheus, MD
Virgilio Matheus, MD

Institute surgeons employ an innovative anterior-posterior technique that allows them to simultaneously operate on a patient’s spine from the front and back while the patient remains stationary. This single-position, lateral lumbar interbody surgical approach is done with the ExcelsiusGPS® robotic navigation platform from Globus Medical. 

“We are facile in all the approaches of spinal surgery — from the front, the side or the back,” says Dr. Matheus, who has lectured on the technique for lumbar fusion procedures. “But simultaneous approaches to the front and back during the same surgery with the patient remaining in the same position is something fairly new. Not many are doing this.”

Spinal experts at Orlando Health also can address specific nerve pathology without performing an extensive deformity-correction surgery. “We have patients with well-established large deformity scoliosis and no past back pain suddenly present with specific leg pain or numbness,” says Dr. Matheus. “Using minimally invasive and robotic-assisted technologies, we’re able to do a very small correction to this singular pinched-nerve situation, allowing the patient to return to a very functional level without a more invasive deformity intervention.”

A high-volume program with exceptional outcomes, the Orlando Health Neuroscience Institute has been designated as a center of excellence by Globus Medical and now trains surgeons from around the world on robotic technology for spinal deformity. The institute also recently started a non-accredited fellowship to educate post-graduate surgeons on complex spinal surgeries.

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