Cutting edge ‘7D’ spinal surgery can reduce operating time, radiation exposure


(WTNH) — We all know the term “three-dimensional.” Now there is technology in the world of spine and neck surgery called “seven-D” and it is cutting edge.

We talked to a leading orthopedist who was involved in trials a year ago and says he was blown away by it. Now, just one hospital in Connecticut is making it available for patients.

Melina Padrazza of Bridgeport has been through extensive physical therapy. She recently underwent spine surgery with her doctor at the Connecticut Orthopaedic Institute at St. Vincent’s Medical Center using new technology.

Padrazza told us, “I’m getting stronger every day so I’m feeling so much better.”

Orthopedist Gerard Girasole, co-director of the Orthopedic Institute, demonstrated the new navigation system which allows him to accurately place screws in the spine. Previously, he used only monitoring methods to see like CT scans which have a downside.

“It requires a significant amount of radiation. Radiation to the patient, radiation to the doctor, radiation to the nurses.”

The new Seven D uses a light source and no radiation. Dr. Girasole says it uses a technology similar to facial recognition on a smartphone, giving him a multi-dimensional view of the spine.

“So when I put my screws in each one of those dimensions I want to make sure that those screws are in a position, that they’re anatomically placed because erring to one side or another can lead to a bad screw which can cause a lot of problems.”

He says the clarity is incredible with this system.

It also cuts down the patient’s time on the operating table since there is no waiting for imaging which used to take 25 minutes.

“That’s significant time under anesthesia. With Seven D it takes about five minutes.”

Dr. Gerasole says less time on the operating table means a better patient outcome, as well.

Their plan at St.Vincent’s is to eventually use this technology on select outpatient procedures.

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