Back surgery breakthrough

September 26, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Millimeters matter in the operating room. If surgeons miss their mark the results can be devastating. Now, doctors have a pint-sized tool to help them hit their target during a popular procedure.

Gail and Paul wells met and fell in love after they both lost their spouses.

"We just clicked," Gail Wells said.

The newlyweds love to travel but long trips were painful for Gail.

"Sitting was really difficult," Gail said.

She had degenerative spinal stenosis.

"Two disks were way out of filter," Gail said.

"The result of that is a narrowing of the spinal canal, which is a very common problem that we see as we get older," Faissal Zahrawi, M.D., from Florida hospital, explained.

Doctor Zahrawi suggested spinal fusion, but instead of free-handing the hardware into Gail's back he used the Mazor Renaissance.

"The robot aids in the insertion of these screws and rods," Dr. Zahrawi, said.

Before the procedure, detailed scans are taken giving surgeons a 3D look at the spine.

"Which we've never seen before," Dr. Zahrawi said.

The info is sent to the robot, and then during the operation it guides surgeons on where to place the hardware. Doctor Zahrawi says the free-hand technique can be up to five-percent off the mark. The robot gets him within one millimeter.

"The safety factor is huge," Gail said.

A month after surgery and Gail's back on track.

"Oh, I'm walking miles, sometimes five miles a day," She said.

Enjoying time with her husband as they plan a trip to Tahiti.

"We have nothing holding us back from our future adventures. We can pretty much do what we want to now," Gail said.

The doctor tells us if spinal fusion surgeries aren't done correctly lower back and leg pain can continue. He believes the robot considerably lowers those risks. He adds that it also helps cut down on radiation exposure by 80 percent because fewer X-Rays are needed during the surgery.

If you would like more information, please contact:
Rachel Rognlin
Clinical Care Coordinator
Celebration Health Spine Center
(407) 303-4545
www.celebrationspinecenter.com


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