Dr Ralph Stanford is one of the leading spinal and orthopaedic surgeons in Sydney.
He recommends spinal surgery only when it is appropriate and after considering all other treatment modalities first. In fact, he only performs surgery on 17% of all patients he consults. Spinal surgery is a serious and expert procedure.
Computer Aided Surgery
One of the greatest advances in spinal surgery in recent years has been computer aided navigation. This brings greater safety, time-saving and the ability to do more complex procedures.
The basis of computer navigation is linking a three-dimensional CT scan image of the spine with the real thing in the operating theatre. The position of a surgical instrument is projected onto that image, which guides the surgeon as they operate.
Special sensors held above the operating field detect the position and movement of modified surgical instruments carrying optical markers. The surgeon can see a 3D image on a screen by the side of the operating field.
At Prince of Wales Private Hospital, we have the AIRO Brainlab system which incorporates a CT scanner with the operating table; one of the most advanced systems in the world.
I have used it successfully in a lot of deformity surgery and difficult fusions, especially in revision cases.