Sky Ridge Medical Center Now Offers Augmented Reality (AR) Guided Spine Surgery

An augmented reality headset gives surgeons “x-ray vision” during procedures for accurate and personalized implant placement while keeping their eyes on their patients

Lone Tree, CO, January 30, 2021 --( Sky Ridge Medical Center is now offering spine surgery with a groundbreaking augmented reality (AR) guidance system that allows surgeons to “see through” a patient’s anatomy as if they have “x-ray vision.” This is the first AR guidance system to be used in surgery and is currently approved for use in open and minimally invasive spine implant procedures. Sky Ridge Medical Center, the leader in spine surgery in Colorado, is the first hospital in the Denver metro area to offer this innovative technology.

Similar to a real-time GPS, this “see-through” surgery lets surgeons know exactly where to place implants in a patient’s unique anatomy, and is bringing a new standard of personalization and care to the operating room. This system is different from other image guidance systems as it allows surgeons to maintain their focus directly on the patient, rather than on a distant screen displaying the patient’s anatomy.

“As a neurosurgeon at the Sky Ridge Spine & Total Joint Center, I am honored today to use this remarkable new technology that will transform the way we operate. Sky Ridge has always been a leader in adopting safe, effective techniques that improve the care we provide to our patients,” said Dr. Brent Kimball. “This is a game changer.”

The system consists of a transparent near-eye-display headset and all elements of a traditional navigation system. It accurately determines the position of surgical tools, in real-time, and superimposes them on the patient's CT data. The navigation data is then projected onto the surgeon’s retina using the headset, allowing him or her to simultaneously look at both the patient and the navigation data. It is designed to revolutionize how surgery is performed by giving the surgeon better control and visualization, which may lead to easier, faster and safer surgeries.

“We are proud that the Sky Ridge Spine & Total Joint Center is the choice for patients and physicians in Colorado, and this is another example of our team’s desire to offer leading edge, innovative care to our patients,” said Kirk McCarty, CEO of Sky Ridge Medical Center.

Sky Ridge Medical Center, the first hospital to open in Douglas County in 2003, is a Level II Trauma Center and an acute care hospital with 284 licensed beds. A member of the HealthONE network, Sky Ridge is a destination hospital with a reputation for clinical excellence and world-class service offering compassionate care through patient-centered programs such as its comprehensive Cancer Center, stoke center of excellence, an award-winning Birth Place and a state-of-the-art Spine and Total Joint Center and robotics center.

HCA Healthcare’s Continental Division, which includes HealthONE and Sky Ridge, was named the #1 large hospital system in the United States by IBM Watson Health as part of the 15 Top Health Systems recognition process. And, as the #7 corporate philanthropist in the Denver-metro area, and the only hospital system in the top 10, HealthONE contributed more than $1.6 million in 2020 and supports more than 150 organizations through cash and in-kind donations.
Sky Ridge Medical Center
Linda Watson
Christine Alexander, Director
Physician Services Group