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Spinal Robotic Surgery Debate at ISASS

Spinal Robotic Surgery Debate at ISASS Advanced MIS Course in Las Vegas; Dr. Isador Lieberman reaches 250 Mazor Robotics case milestone

ORLANDO, Fla., January 30, 2014 – Last week, Dr. Isador Lieberman of Texas Back Institute gave a podium presentation on robotic technique for spine surgery with Mazor Robotics Renaissance™ Guidance System to attendees of the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery (ISASS) Advanced MIS Course in Las Vegas, Nev. The lecture was part of a debate on the application of robotics and navigation in spine surgery. Dr. Antonio Castellvi of Florida Orthopaedic Institute also contributed to the debate and presented results of his Renaissance case series during the course.

Prior to the conference, Dr. Lieberman reached a milestone of 250 spine surgery cases with Mazor Robotics technology.

“I use the Renaissance system because it really does facilitate a more efficient and more accurate surgical procedure,” said Dr. Lieberman. “The Renaissance system is an integral part of my practice.”

In Dr. Lieberman’s presentation at the ISASS course, he included a review of the study published in European Spine Journal last year that concluded 98.9 percent accuracy when implanting pedicle screws using the Renaissance system in 101 consecutive cases. 1 Ninety percent of the sample group had severe deformity and/or previous spine surgery that failed to correct the condition.

Historically, extreme curves and abnormalities of the spine can pose a significant challenge to surgeons when placing implants. With the Renaissance system’s virtual 3D planning software, the surgeon can better anticipate these obstacles and a solution can be determined before even entering the operating room (watch “How it Works”).

Dr. Antonio Castellvi presented on the placement of 103 screws in his first 12 Renaissance percutaneous procedures (97.1 percent accuracy), proving the advantages of using the Renaissance system in minimally-invasive spine surgery cases and the reproducibility of outcomes early in the learning curve.

1 Hu, X, Ohnmeiss D. Lieberman,I. Robotic-assisted pedicle screw placement: lessons learned from the first 102 patients. Eur Spine J (2013) 22:661-666.


The M6C featured on Nine News

The M6 Artificial Cervical Disc as featured on Nine News.

Reported by Gabriella Rogers

M6C as featured on Nine News from LifeHealthcare on Vimeo.


Neck and back pain can be debilitating, one of the most common complaints among Australians. Tens of thousands of people need hospital treatment each year, but there’s now a new implant, bringing instant relief to sufferers.

42-year-old swimmer Stuart Johnson knows all about pushing through the pain barrier, having completed a double-crossing of the English channel, but even prescription pain-killers could not ease the problems with his spine.

“At worse, I could not sleep at night, rolling over and sleeping at my side”.

He was at the end of the road. He could not go on further – but not for long. He underwent surgery to replace a damaged disc in his neck with this, an artificial implant, the size of a thumb nail.


Dr Ralph Mobbs, Neurosurgeon,  says “We can now replace a degenerated disc with something that mirrors the bio-mechanics of a normal disc. That is because the artificial disc and its neek-clee us is designed to mimic a human disc, making it more flexible. This is after the surgery, from a motion perspective, a fantastic result”.

Traditionally, patients have a spinal fusion, requiring screws, plates and a cage to join the spine together.

“Whenever we fuse the spine, it does result in additional stress on the joints above and below. There are also larger implants for the lower back” says Dr Mobbs.

Stuart decided on this surgery because he wanted to retain movement in his neck, and continue his passion for swimming. That includes a triple-crossing of the English channel.

“I plan to go back and try again next year”.

For more information, click here


Spinal Health International Volunteers Return to Nepal

Spinal Health International (SHI) volunteers returned to Kathmandu, Nepal in February 2013 with support from LifeHealthcare (LHC) Australia and K2M USA. Jerry Day MD, Neurosurgery, Wollongong NSW Australia participated in complex spinal reconstructive surgeries at Tribuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH) and Grande International Hospital (GIH) along with Chet Sutterlin MD, Director of SHI. SHI is a secular, nongovernmental, nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to education, teaching, and assistance to surgeons treating patients with spinal disorders and disease in underprivileged countries.


Nepal is primarily a mountainous region located in the Himalaya with Tibet to it’s north and India to it’s south. The population of Nepal is approximately 27 million with about 1 million residing in the capital city of Kathmandu. Almost 60% of the population is below the poverty line defined as $US2/day according to the World Bank. Economically, agriculture comprises the majority of the gross domestic product (GDP). Nepal is home to Chomolungma (Sagarmatha, Mt Everest) which is the highest mountain on earth at 8848m (29,029ft) above sea level.


At TUTH, Dr Day operated with Rohit Pokharel MD PhD on patient DP, a 17yo male who fell from a tree and sustained a C6-7 subluxation with ASIA  B incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI). The patient underwent posterior open reduction and internal fixation utilizing pedicle screws at C5, C6, T1, and T2. Within 4 weeks, the patient had improved to ASIA D.


Postop Ap and Lat Xray after fixation with pedicle screws and rods C5-T2


Preop AP and Lat Xray in traction demonstrates reduction of C5-6 subluxation

At GIH, Dr Day operated with Binod Bijukachhe MD on patient PT, a 40yo teacher who presented with weakness, incoordination, and spasticity of both legs for 4 months which had progressed to wheelchair dependence by admission to hospital. MRI revealed neurofibroma at T6 with severe cord compression. The tumor was resected via right unilateral approach (removal of transverse process, facet, lamina, and pedicle) and unilateral pedicle screw fixation T5 and T7. The patient recovered very quickly and was ambulatory with minimal pain at day 5 postop.

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Dr Day was accompanied by his family Angus Day, Olivia Day, and Jane Luscombe (OR nurse and practice manager). Also volunteering to assist SHI with it’s mission was Sarah Song, BS and premed student, who was supported by K2M spinal implant company of Leesburg, Virginia USA.

During nonworking hours, the SHI  volunteers were able to visit the homes of Nepalese families, orphanages, and many of the amazing historical destinations of Nepal including Mt Everest!

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Mt Everest in the distance with snowy plume of the jet stream

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Nepalese children

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Boudhanath Stupa, a world heritage site

SHI wishes to thank Dr Day and his family, Ms Song, LifeHealthcare, and K2M for their support.

Respectfully submitted by Chet Sutterlin MD, Dept Neurosurgery University of Florida, USA.

All photos compliments of : Olivia and Angus Day

Please visit the SHI website:

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