Evaluating a cutting-edge augmented reality-supported navigation system for spinal instrumentation

Maximilian Schwendner, Sebastian Ille, Maria Wostrack, Bernhard Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: Dorsal instrumentation using pedicle screws is a standard treatment for multiple spinal pathologies, such as trauma, infection, or degenerative indications. Intraoperative three-dimensional (3D) imaging and navigated pedicle screw placement are used at multiple centers. For the present study, we evaluated a new navigation system enabling augmented reality (AR)-supported pedicle screw placement while integrating navigation cameras into the reference array and drill guide. The present study aimed to evaluate its clinical application regarding safety, efficacy, and accuracy. Methods: A total of 20 patients were operated on between 06/2021 and 01/2022 using the new technique for intraoperative navigation. Intraoperative data with a focus on accuracy and patient safety, including patient outcome, were analyzed. The accuracy of pedicle screw placement was evaluated by intraoperative CT imaging. Results: A median of 8 (4–18) pedicle screws were placed in each case. Percutaneous instrumentation was performed in 14 patients (70%). The duration of pedicle screw placement (duration scan–scan) was 56 ± 26 (30–107) min. Intraoperative screw revision was necessary for 3 of 180 pedicle screws (1.7%). Intraoperatively, no major complications occurred—one case of delay due to software issues and one case of difficult screw placement were reported. Conclusion: The current study's results could confirm the use of the present AR-supported system for navigated pedicle screw placement for dorsal instrumentation in clinical routine. It provides a reliable and safe tool for 3D imaging-based pedicle screw placement, only requires a minimal intraoperative setup, and provides new opportunities by integrating AR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-288
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Spine Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Augmented reality
  • Dorsal instrumentation
  • Pedicle screw
  • Spinal navigation


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