Objective: In the field of spinal surgery, a few laboratory results or clinical cases about robotic spinal surgery have been reported. In vivo trials and development of related surgical instruments for spinal surgery are required before its clinical application. We investigated the use of the da Vinci® Surgical System in spinal surgery at the craniovertebral junction in a human cadaver to demonstrate the efficacy and pitfalls of robotic surgery. Methods: Dissection of pharyngeal wall to the exposure of C1 and odontoid process was performed with full robotic procedure. Although assistance of another surgeon was necessary for drilling and removal of odontoid process due to the lack of appropriate end-effectors, successful robotic procedures for dural sutures and exposing spinal cord proved its safety and dexterity. Results: Robot-assisted odontoidectomy was successfully performed in a human cadaver using the da Vinci® Surgical System with few robotic arm collisions and minimal soft tissue damages. Da Vinci® Surgical System manifested more dexterous movement than human hands in the deep and narrow oral cavity. Furthermore, sutures with robotic procedure in the oral cavity demonstrated the advantage over conventional procedure. Conclusion: Presenting cadaveric study proved the probability of robot-assisted transoral approach. However, the development of robotic instruments specific to spinal surgery must first precede its clinical application.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology