A Computerized Planning Tool for Spine Surgery Currently, the surgeon typically enters a complex spine operation having prepared only by looking at the patient's preoperative imaging studies (x-ray, CT, and MRI). The objective of this project is to continue development of a computerized system to assist the spine surgeon in better planning and executing complex surgery. Development was begun in the first 3-year grant period preceding this renewal. Several lessons were learned and a plan has been devised for completing the system. The system will first enable the surgeon to perform virtual spine surgery on a patient-specific computer model of the spine. The system will then suggest possible refinements to the surgery with regard to hardware placement. Next, the system will create rapid prototyped solid models of the spine that the surgeon can take into consultation with the patient and into surgery for better visualization of anatomy. Finally, the system will create rapid prototyped templates and drill guides for intraoperative use to allow the surgeon to implement the surgical plan. The first two years of the project involve development of the software interface in parallel with further improvement of methods for optimizing placement of surgical hardware and creating drilling templates. The final year involves laboratory and clinical experimental validation of this tool. The ultimate goal of the computerized tool is to improve the outcome of surgery, shorten the time under anesthesia, and improve the confidence of the patient and surgeon. Thus, successful development of the surgical planning tool would represent an improvement in the quality of care in spine surgery.
Project Narrative: A Computerized Planning Tool for Spine Surgery A computerized tool will be created to help the spine surgeon make the best possible plan for complex surgery that is suited to the specific pathology of his or her patient, then to create guides and templates to improve surgical accuracy. The ultimate goal of the computerized tool is to improve the outcome of surgery, shorten the time under anesthesia, and improve the confidence of the patient and surgeon. Thus, successful development of the surgical planning tool would represent an improvement in the quality of care in spine surgery.
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