Optimization of spine surgery planning with 3D image templating tools

Kurt E. Augustine, Paul M. Huddleston, David R. Holmes, Shyam M. Shridharani, Richard A. Robb

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


The current standard of care for patients with spinal disorders involves a thorough clinical history, physical exam, and imaging studies. Simple radiographs provide a valuable assessment but prove inadequate for surgery planning because of the complex 3-dimensional anatomy of the spinal column and the close proximity of the neural elements, large blood vessels, and viscera. Currently, clinicians still use primitive techniques such as paper cutouts, pencils, and markers in an attempt to analyze and plan surgical procedures. 3D imaging studies are routinely ordered prior to spine surgeries but are currently limited to generating simple, linear and angular measurements from 2D views orthogonal to the central axis of the patient. Complex spinal corrections require more accurate and precise calculation of 3D parameters such as oblique lengths, angles, levers, and pivot points within individual vertebra. We have developed a clinician friendly spine surgery planning tool which incorporates rapid oblique reformatting of each individual vertebra, followed by interactive templating for 3D placement of implants. The template placement is guided by the simultaneous representation of multiple 2D section views from reformatted orthogonal views and a 3D rendering of individual or multiple vertebrae enabling superimposition of virtual implants. These tools run efficiently on desktop PCs typically found in clinician offices or workrooms. A preliminary study conducted with Mayo Clinic spine surgeons using several actual cases suggests significantly improved accuracy of pre-operative measurements and implant localization, which is expected to increase spinal procedure efficiency and safety, and reduce time and cost of the operation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2008 - Visualization, Image-Guided Procedures, and Modeling
StatePublished - 2008
EventMedical Imaging 2008 - Visualization, Image-Guided Procedures, and Modeling - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 17 2008Feb 19 2008

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherMedical Imaging 2008 - Visualization, Image-Guided Procedures, and Modeling
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Data integration for the OR
  • Orthopedic procedure
  • Spine surgery
  • Surgery planning
  • Templating
  • Visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomaterials
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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