Computer Enhanced Navigation: Image Guided Spine Surgery

Make an Appointment

Image guidance technology creates 3D models of the spine and virtual images of your surgeon’s instruments during the operation. Your surgeon can manipulate and merge the images to reveal greater detail when planning or performing surgery. This helps to navigate the spine’s complex anatomy, visualize disorders and perform tasks more accurately, including implanting spinal instrumentation.

How Image-Guided Spine Surgery Works

This technology uses:

  • A high-performance computer
  • Sophisticated software
  • A monitor
  • Camera(s) to recognize light-emitting diodes (LEDs)
  • Instruments fit with LEDs

Your surgeon loads your CT scans and/or MRI images of your anatomy into the computer to create 3D images.

The images can be rotated, enlarged or manipulated to allow your surgeon to pre-plan the surgery. 

Some clinics offer spine surgery with robotics. We also have 3D imaging to help us remove bone spurs, cysts, and tumors.

Advantages of Image-Guided Surgery

Advantages of this procedure include:

  • Enhanced ability to navigate complex spinal anatomy in real time
  • Accurate measurements, such as screw diameter and length
  • More precise implantation of spinal instrumentation
  • Reduced operating time
  • Minimized (and possibly eliminates) radiation exposure experienced with traditional X-rays

Read more about spine care at UVA Health.