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Robotic Lumbar Fusion

Robotic systems provide Dr. Singh with advanced tools and real-time feedback, allowing for highly precise and accurate surgical movements.

What is a robotic lumbar fusion?

A robotic lumbar fusion is a cutting-edge surgery that combines the use of robotic technology with minimally invasive lumbar fusion procedures. In a robotic lumbar fusion, a surgical robot is utilized to assist Dr. Singh during the procedure. The robotic system consists of a robotic arm, specialized instruments, and a console that the surgeon operates during the procedure.

Dr. Singh uses this advanced technology with the assistance of a robot to help with the placement of screws in order to decrease risk to surrounding tissues including the spinal cord, the nerves that branch off from it, and blood vessels that run through the spinal canal. Compared to other surgical approaches, robot-assisted surgery may also eliminate the risk of radiation exposure. 

When should a robotic lumbar fusion be performed?

A robotic lumbar fusion may be performed to treat:

Who is a candidate for a robotic lumbar fusion?

A thorough work-up and discussion with Dr. Singh are important in determining whether a patient is a good candidate for a robotic lumbar fusion. General considerations include:

  • The spinal condition and its severity
  • The patient’s general health and medical history

What is preoperative planning?

Preoperative planning is always performed before any surgical procedure, and when Dr. Singh chooses robotic lumbar fusion, he uses the robotic technology for preoperative imaging to create a three-dimensional model of the patient’s spine, enabling him to plan the procedure with a higher level of customization. This personalized approach helps customize implant size, trajectory, and placement specific to the patient’s anatomy, leading to enhanced outcomes.

How is a robotic lumbar fusion performed?

The surgical team sets up the robotic system, which includes a robotic arm, specialized instruments, and a console. Dr. Singh then operates the robotic system from the console which is placed in a sterile fashion next to the surgical field.

Dr. Singh then makes a stab skin incision and dissects through the soft tissue below to work down towards the spine carefully splitting and preserving the muscle. Dr. Singh only removes the damaged or problematic portions of the vertebrae, such as the lamina, facet joints, or intervertebral discs that have degenerated.

The robot then gives feedback to Dr. Singh about the trajectory and angles required to place the screws with the utmost care being taken to preserve all the normal stabilizing structures.

What are the advantages of robotic lumbar fusion?

Robotic lumbar fusion offers advantages such as improved surgical accuracy, enhanced visualization, precise and custom implant placement and the ability to perform minimally invasive surgery which includes smaller incisions and reduced blood loss compared to traditional open surgery.

The decision to undergo robotic lumbar fusion and the specific surgical approach are determined on an individual basis. Chicago spine surgeon Dr. Kern Singh has the skills and experience to execute the most complicated and precise surgery with robotic assistance. He will evaluate the patient’s condition, discuss the potential benefits and risks, and tailor the surgical plan accordingly.

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Dr. Kern Singh, MD is an internationally renowned spine surgeon specializing in outpatient minimally invasive and motion-preserving techniques and endoscopic spine surgery at Midwest Orthopedics at RUSH and Professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at RUSH University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Kern Singh is one of the nation’s Top 100 spine surgeons and beloved by his patients for his compassionate care and excellent outcomes. He welcomes nationally and internationally-based patients.


  • Karasin B, Rizzo G, Hardinge T, Grzelak M, Eskuchen L, Watkinson J. Robotic-Assisted Lumbar Fusion: An Effective Technique for Pedicle Screw Placement. AORN J. 2022 Mar;115(3):251-260. doi: 10.1002/aorn.13612. PMID: 35213051.
  • Matur AV, Palmisciano P, Duah HO, Chilakapati SS, Cheng JS, Adogwa O. Robotic and navigated pedicle screws are safer and more accurate than fluoroscopic freehand screws: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Spine J. 2023 Feb;23(2):197-208. doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2022.10.006. Epub 2022 Oct 21. PMID: 36273761.
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  • Han XG, Tang GQ, Han X, Xing YG, Zhang Q, He D, Tian W. Comparison of Outcomes between Robot-Assisted Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion and Oblique Lumbar Interbody Fusion in Single-Level Lumbar Spondylolisthesis. Orthop Surg. 2021 Oct;13(7):2093-2101. doi: 10.1111/os.13151. Epub 2021 Oct 1. PMID: 34596342; PMCID: PMC8528977.
At A Glance

Dr. Kern Singh

  • Minimally invasive and endoscopic spine surgeon
  • Inventor and surgeon innovator with multiple patents in spinal surgery and instrumentation
  • Author of more than 10 textbooks in minimally invasive spinal surgery
  • Learn more

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