Robotic spine surgery emerges as a promising technological advancement, but its application in the Indian medical landscape warrants careful consideration of its pros and cons. Below is a breakdown of its benefits and drawbacks specific to the Indian scenario:

Advantages of Robotic Spine Surgery

Enhanced Precision in Screw Placement

Robotic assistance offers precision in the insertion of screws during spine surgery, potentially improving surgical outcomes and patient safety.

Disadvantages of Robotic Spine Surgery

Cost Considerations

Cost remains a significant barrier to widespread adoption in cost-conscious societies like India. The substantial investment required for robotic equipment, running into crores, inevitably translates into higher treatment costs for patients.

Radiation Risks

Contrary to claims of reduced radiation exposure, the use of intraoperative CT and O-arm imaging in robotic spine surgery may elevate the lifetime cancer risk. Studies indicate a potential increase of 2.3 incidents per 10,000 compared to conventional radiography.

Human Surgeon’s Role

Despite robotic assistance, the expertise of the human surgeon remains paramount. Reports suggest instances of the surgical robot deviating from the intended trajectory due to anatomical variations, questioning the purported superiority of automation over human skill.

Also Read The Importance of Posture: How to Improve Alignment and Reduce Back Strain

Infection Risks

Research highlights a higher incidence of complications, including infections and implant failures, associated with robotic spine surgery compared to conventional approaches. This underscores the importance of meticulous infection control measures in robotic procedures.

Prolonged Surgery Duration

Robotic spine surgeries often entail longer operative times, potentially increasing the patient’s exposure to anesthesia and surgical risks.

Insurance Coverage Challenges

Navigating insurance coverage for robotic spine surgery poses additional challenges, further limiting access to this advanced technology for many patients.

Conclusion: The Present Status of Robotic Spine Surgery in India. Given the aforementioned considerations, robotic spine surgery remains more of a luxury than a necessity in the Indian healthcare landscape. While the technology may hold promise for complex spinal deformities, alternative fixation methods and surgical techniques can often achieve comparable outcomes, even without robotic assistance.

Also read Decoding the Cost of Scoliosis Surgery in India: A Comprehensive Guide


D’Souza M et al. (2019). Robotic-Assisted Spine Surgery: History, Efficacy, Cost, And Future Trends. Robot Surg. 6:9-23.

Crawford, Alexander M, et al. (2023). Projected Lifetime Cancer Risk Associated With Intraoperative Computed Tomography for Lumbar Spine Surgery. Spine. 48(13): 893-900.

Passias PG et al. (2021). A cost benefit analysis of increasing surgical technology in lumbar spine fusion. Spine J. 21(2): 193-201.

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