Robotic Assistance for Minimally Invasive Cervical Pedicle Instrumentation: Report on Feasibility and Safety

  • Farah Kaissar
  • Meyer Mikael
  • Prost Solene
  • Albader Faisal
  • Dufour Henry
  • Blondel Benjamin
  • Fuentes Stephane

  • Airo navigation
  • Cervical spine
  • Cirq robotic
  • Minimally invasive
  • Pedicle screw


Background Accurate screw placement remains challenging, especially in the cervical spine. We present our first experience of minimally invasive posterior cervical and upper thoracic pedicle screw fixation in the lower cervical spine. Methods This study reports a case series of patients, undergoing posterior percutaneous pedicle fixation using Cirq robotic assistance coupled to the Airo intraoperative computed tomography scan and Brainlab navigation system. Routine computed tomography was performed on postoperative day 2 to evaluate pedicle screw placement. The effective dose was calculated. Results Between February 2020 and December 2020, 7 patients (4 men and 3 women) were treated. The mean age was 58.8 years (range, 29–75 years). Fixation was performed with a cannulated PASS OCT Reconstruction System (Medicrea). Overall, 28 screws were placed within cervical and upper thoracic pedicles. According to the Neo and Heary classification, 85.7% were rated as acceptable and 14.3% as poor. The radiation dose received by the patient was 9.1 mSv (range, 7.7–10.6 mSv). The radiation dose received by the surgical staff was 0 mSv. The postoperative course was excellent. Conclusions Posterior miniopen fixation using Cirq robotic assistance coupled with an intraoperative computed tomography navigation system is a major innovation that can improve the accuracy of pedicle screw positioning, with acceptable patient radiation and reduced surgical team exposure.