Present and Future Spinal Robotic and Enabling Technologies

Siri Sahib S. Khalsa, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Dean Chou, Paul Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Enabling technologies include surgical planning software, computer-assisted navigation, intraoperative three-dimensional (3D) imaging, and robotic systems. Presently, these technologies are in various stages of refinement. Spinal robots in particular are currently limited to the positioning of an alignment guide for pedicle screw placement. Current generation spinal robots, therefore, play a more limited role in spinal surgery. In contrast to spinal robots, intraoperative imaging technology has been developed further, to a stage that allows accurate 3D spinal image acquisition that can be readily utilized for spinal navigation. The integration of these various technologies has the potential to maximize the safety, consistency, reliability, and efficacy of surgical procedures. To that end, the trend for manufacturers is to incorporate various enabling technologies into the spinal robotic systems. In the near-term, it is expected that integration of more advanced planning software and navigation will result in wider applicability and value. In the long-term, there are a variety of enabling technologies such as augmented reality that may be a component of spinal robots. This article reviews the features of currently available spinal robots and discusses the likely future advancements of robotic platforms in the near- and long-term.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S48-S56
JournalOperative Neurosurgery
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Augmented reality
  • Enabling technologies
  • Intraoperative imaging
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Navigation
  • Robotic surgery
  • Spine surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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