First Robotic Guided Surgery for Cervical Spine in the United States Performed at UC Irvine Orthopedic Spine Center

Novel surgical approach to cervical surgery expands UCI’s spine program.

Irvine, CA, April 11, 2012 --( Dr. S. Samuel Bederman from The University of California at Irvine’s Orthopaedic Spine Center is the first surgeon in the US to perform robot-guided surgeries on the cervical spine. The cervical spine, which consists of the seven vertebrae in the neck closest to the skull, has special characteristics that distinguish cervical spine surgery from surgery of the thoracic or lumbar spine. Dr. Bederman used Mazor Robotics’ Renaissance system to perform two cervical spine surgeries earlier this year. Together these cases are considered a ground breaking advance for robot-assisted spine surgery. The cervical application is expected to be released by the company towards the end of 2012.

The first surgery was performed on a 62-year old male with a longstanding history of neck pain that radiated to his arm with debilitating effects. The second procedure was performed on a 71-year-old female with a severely curved neck (scoliosis and kyphosis) who was unable to stand upright and suffered with unbearable neck pain. Dr. Bederman relieved pressure on pinched nerves and stabilized the neck in both cases. The patients are now free of pain and have a normal neck profile. These successful results were confirmed by CT scans.

Drs. Samuel Bederman and Nitin Bhatia of the UC Irvine Spine Center were the first surgeons on the West Coast to use Mazor Robotics’ technology for spine surgery. It is considered a breakthrough compared with traditional techniques. The robot allows for highly accurate preoperative planning and insertion of screws used to stabilize the spine and correct deformities.

It has improved the accuracy of spinal instrumentation used for spinal fusions, fractures, and scoliosis surgery.

“While Renaissance is commonly used for minimally invasive techniques, we see the greatest value in situations of severe deformity or previous fusions in which the normal anatomy has been distorted,” said Dr. Bederman. “The surgical robot helps us to provide better and safer patient care, enabling accuracy that is very difficult to achieve otherwise. I believe that the availability of surgical robots is causing a revolution in spine procedures and I am honored to have the opportunity to use this state-of-the-art technology. I see its impact on patients’ lives every day.”

Patients should discuss their options with Dr. Bederman or Dr. Bhatia to determine the extent of their spinal problems and whether surgery is a viable option for their treatment. Please call 714-456-7012 or visit for more information.

For all patients, a multi-disciplinary non-surgical approach is used. This approach allows the majority of patients to improve without surgical intervention. When surgery is necessary, Dr. Bederman’s extensive training in state of the art techniques including scoliosis and spinal deformity correction, revision spinal surgery, and minimally invasive surgery for degenerative spinal disorders (XLIF) help to cure his patients' problems with minimal recovery time and less discomfort than other methods.

The UC Irvine Spine Center provides care for Orange County and the surrounding communities including Irvine, Newport Beach, Corona del Mar, Laguna Nigel, Garden Grove, Fountain Valley, Santa Ana, Fullerton, Westminster, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Long Beach, Anaheim, Brea, Mission Viejo, Temecula, Fallbrook, Hemet, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Arizona and Nevada. Patients from outside these communities are welcome at the UCI Spine Center as well.
Irvine Spine Center
S. Samuel Bederman, MD PhD