A robotic tool that is changing lives - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/8/10

A robotic tool that is changing lives

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 By Karin McCay| email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – A new robotic tool is changing the lives of people with back pain. It's called the Spineassist, and it's a surgical robot that operates on bone. The company says there are only three available in the United States right now, and Bethany Neymeyer of Plano is one of the first to use it. Before the surgery, her back curved at a 45 degree angle, and now, Neymeyer says, "My curvature is under 10 degrees, and I'm straight, I'm really happy."

A Spineassist, Dr. Isador Lieberman said, "In the operating room, the robot is mounted onto the patients spine, and then we direct the robot to move from point A to point B according to that pre-operative plan, so we can place the screws and rods more efficently and accurately."

It takes specific software to plan the surgery, but then it's up to the robot to implant the plan. The spineassist has been used in more than 1,000 cases worldwide.  Patients know there is always a possibility the surgery could go wrong; however, there has been no case of nerve damage.

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