Percutaneous screw placement in the lumbar spine with a modified guidance technique based on 3D CT navigation system
Several guidance techniques have been employed to increase accuracy and reduce surgical time during percutaneous placement of pedicle screws (PS). The purpose of our study was to present a modified technique for percutaneous placement of lumbar PS that reduces surgical time. We reviewed 23 cases of percutaneous PS placement using our technique for minimally invasive lumbar surgeries and 24 control cases where lumbar PS placement was done via common technique using Jamshidi needles (Becton, Dickinson and Company, Franklin Lakes, NJ, USA). An integrated computer-guided navigation system was used in all cases. In the technique modification, a handheld drill with a navigated guide was used to create the path for inserting guidewires through the pedicles and into the vertebral bodies. After drill removal, placement of the guidewires through the pedicles took place. The PS were implanted over the guidewires, through the pedicles and into the vertebral bodies. Intraoperative computed tomography was performed after screw placement to ensure optimal positioning in all cases. There were no intraoperative complications with either technique. PS placement was correct in all cases. The average time for each PS placement was 6.9 minutes for the modified technique and 9.2 minutes for the common technique. There was no significant difference in blood loss. In conclusion, this modified technique is efficient and contributes to reduced operative time.