The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently awarded Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center a grant worth more than $500,000 to create a computerized system that will advance spine surgery.
Within the next three years, researchers and neurosurgeons at Barrow will use the grant to create a computerized planning tool for spine surgery. The system will convert a patient's CT scan into a computerized model and perform a virtual surgery on a computer.
"This technology represents the cutting-edge of spinal surgery and will allow us to evaluate and treat problems with a 3-dimensional perspective, which has never before been available," says Dr. Nicholas Theodore, Barrow neurosurgeon.
The tool is patient specific and will allow the surgeon to better plan each surgery prior to going into the operating room. The system will potentially save lives by helping the surgeon spot spinal problems and avoid fatal complications that might not become obvious until the actual surgery takes place.
"The system will suggest ways for more precise surgeries and lead to better outcomes for each patient," says Dr. Neil Crawford, associate staff scientist at Barrow.
Barrow is world-renowned for its outstanding neurological and neurosurgical care. The center is routinely recognized as one of the top ten neuroscience centers in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.