Videoexoscopic real-time intraoperative navigation for spinal neurosurgery: a novel co-adaptation of two existing technology platforms, technical note

Meng Huang, Sean Michael Barber, William James Steele, Zain Boghani, Viren Rajendrakumar Desai, Gavin Wayne Britz, George Alexander West, Todd Wilson Trask, Paul Joseph Holman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Image-guided approaches to spinal instrumentation and interbody fusion have been widely popularized in the last decade [1–5]. Navigated pedicle screws are significantly less likely to breach [2, 3, 5, 6]. Navigation otherwise remains a point reference tool because the projection is off-axis to the surgeon’s inline loupe or microscope view. The Synaptive robotic brightmatter drive videoexoscope monitor system represents a new paradigm for off-axis high-definition (HD) surgical visualization. It has many advantages over the traditional microscope and loupes, which have already been demonstrated in a cadaveric study [7]. An auxiliary, but powerful capability of this system is projection of a second, modifiable image in a split-screen configuration. We hypothesized that integration of both Medtronic and Synaptive platforms could permit the visualization of reconstructed navigation and surgical field images simultaneously. By utilizing navigated instruments, this configuration has the ability to support live image-guided surgery or real-time navigation (RTN). Medtronic O-arm/Stealth S7 navigation, MetRx, NavLock, and SureTrak spinal systems were implemented on a prone cadaveric specimen with a stream output to the Synaptive Display. Surgical visualization was provided using a Storz Image S1 platform and camera mounted to the Synaptive robotic brightmatter drive. We were able to successfully technically co-adapt both platforms. A minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MIS TLIF) and an open pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO) were performed using a navigated high-speed drill under RTN. Disc Shaver and Trials under RTN were implemented on the MIS TLIF. The synergy of Synaptive HD videoexoscope robotic drive and Medtronic Stealth platforms allow for live image-guided surgery or real-time navigation (RTN). Off-axis projection also allows upright neutral cervical spine operative ergonomics for the surgeons and improved surgical team visualization and education compared to traditional means. This technique has the potential to augment existing minimally invasive and open approaches, but will require long-term outcome measurements for efficacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-255
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Robotic Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


  • Image-guided surgery
  • Medtronic stealth
  • Real-time navigation
  • Synaptive brightmatter drive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Health Informatics


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