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Preventing Pedicle Probe Injuries during Spinal Fusion Surgeries

Team Members:
  • Anvesh Annadanam
  • Ravi Gaddipati
  • Luis Herrera
  • Brad Isaacs
  • Eric Xie
  • Clay Andrews
  • Adarsha Malla
  • Erica Schwarz
  • Chetan Bettegowda, MD, PhD
  • Sheng-fu Larry Lo, MD


To enable spine surgeons to more accurately place pedicle screws and reduce associated breaches in spinal fusion procedures, we have designed and prototyped AccuSpine, an improved pedicle probe to replace the current “ball-and-stick” model probe. AccuSpine is able to provide feedback to the surgeon regarding where it is located within the pedicle and alert the surgeon of an impending cortical wall breach with both vibrational and visual feedback. The device consists of a spherical handle incorporating three 100 pound resistive force transducers to measure forces in three different axes. When the surgeon pushes the probe from soft to hard bone, a sudden force spike will occur, signifying a breach. The handle also houses a feedback system obtained using a small button vibrational motor as well as four red LED lights that flash, respectively, when a breach is detected. AccuSpine’s feature set enables projected reductions in operating time by 15 percent with projected cost savings of 10 percent per surgery, an average of $9,000 per procedure.

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