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New Program Reduces Spine Surgery Errors Linked to 'Wrong Level' Labeling


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Surgeon Rajiv Iyer tests LevelCheck.

Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers have designed a computer program that can help surgeons prevent surgical errors associated with operating on the wrong spinal segment.

Credit: Amir Manbachi

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine have designed a computer program called LevelCheck that can help surgeons identify and label spinal segments during real-time operating room procedures, to prevent surgical errors associated with operating on the wrong segment.

Surgeons currently identify the correct target spinal segment, or level, using intraoperative X-rays, which sometimes can be difficult to read due to poor image quality, the patient's position or weight, or atypical spinal anatomy.

LevelCheck uses a patient's MRI or CT scan images taken before the operation, and algorithms are used to compare anatomical landmarks, line them up, and transfer the digital labels of each spinal segment from the preoperative scan to the digital X-ray taken in the operating room.

According to Johns Hopkins' Jeffrey Siewerdsen, "A surgeon may say, 'I don’t need this, I always get it right.' This algorithm actually improves surgeons' rates of getting it right."

From Johns Hopkins Medicine
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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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