Robotic Relief for Spine Pain

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Jill Chadwick

News Director

Office: (913) 588-5013

Cell: (913) 223-3974


            They say robots are becoming more and more a part of our lives. From vacuum cleaners to self-checkout lanes in the grocery store, they’re making a big impact. Now they’re even helping in the operating room.

            New technology to improve outcomes in spine surgery has arrived at The University of Kansas Health system in the form of a pair of spinal robots…the only ones in the 14-county area around the Kansas City area. It’s called the Globus Excelsius GPS, and it helps surgeons provide a precise path for drills and screws that go into the spine.

            In the video, Dr. Kushal Shah, a neurosurgeon at The University of Kansas Health System, explains the benefits of the new technology. Those include more precise placement of screws, which is vital for spine surgery. It also allows for minimally-invasive procedures, which allow much quicker recovery times for patients.

            Also in the video, Dr. Joshua Bunch, on the left and Dr. Brandon Carlson on the right. The two spinal surgeons say other advantages are they can map out the procedure in advance, and it reduces the chance for an error in a location where an error could be disastrous. They also say patients and operating room staff are exposed to a much lower amount of radiation. And the quicker recovery means less time using opioids or narcotic pain killers.

            The video also includes interviews with two patients. Chuck Scott had been living with back pain for more than a year before becoming the first patient to undergo a procedure with the spine robot. He talks about his condition and how it had kept he and his wife from traveling. He was up and walking around the same day as his surgery. He’s now hoping to make a scheduled trip to the Holy Land with his wife next year.

            Greg Brown has undergone four previous surgeries and takes 16 pills a day for his hip and thigh pain. In the video, he tells his story, and how he’s expecting to resume a more normal life pain and drug free.

            The video also shows the spine robot in action in the operating room.