Percutaneous pedicle fixation is sometimes performed as part of a spinal fusion surgery, in which transplanted bone is used to encourage two or more vertebrae to unite into one bone for more stability in the spine.
Fusion and fixation may be performed to relieve pain caused by degenerative spinal conditions, to stabilize the spine after trauma, to treat instability due to tumor or infection or to correct a spinal deformity.
How is this Procedure Performed?
Percutaneous pedicle fixation is performed under general anesthesia, which means the patient is unconscious.
First, the surgeon makes tiny incisions on the patient’s back on either side of the spinal column. Next, the surgeon inserts screws guided by an X-ray technique called fluoroscopy or an intraoperative navigation system that relies on either X-ray or computed tomography (CT) images. New technology now offers robotic assistance to improve accuracy. Finally, rods are inserted into special slots at the screw heads and locked into place. The surgical instruments are then removed, and the incisions are closed with one or two sutures.
Preparation for this Procedure
Make sure to tell your doctor about any medications that you’re taking, including over the counter medication and supplements, especially medications that can thin your blood such as aspirin. Your doctor may recommend you stop taking these medications before your procedure. To make it easier, write all of your medications down before the day of surgery.
Be sure to tell your doctor if you have an allergy to any medications, food, or latex (some surgical gloves are made of latex).
On the day of surgery, remove any nail polish or acrylic nails, do not wear makeup and remove all jewelry. If staying overnight, bring items that may be needed, such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, and dentures.