The subject of the article had undergone spinal surgery (fusion) 14 years earlier, but the pain had returned to the point that he was in pain just walking a few steps. When he returned to hear the results of an MRI, the doctor sat down and looked at his screen, making the patient particularly nervous about what the prognosis would be. As expected, the news was bad, and he would need to undergo another spinal surgery. However, with more than a decade since the first surgery, the tools and technology had significantly improved for the process.
For the next surgery, the surgeon would have a virtual reality headset that would help to guide the surgeon by helping him see through the patient’s skin as though he had x-ray vision. This made it easier to perform the surgery because he could see the area better. The augmented reality makes it easier to do delicate operations, such as insert screws through incisions.
The special headset allows the surgeon to stay focused on the patient instead of having to look away to see a screen to get a clearer visual. It adds a new level of safety and efficiency. Since the surgeon has a clearer view, it can help make the recovery process go faster. The patient in the article said that he was able to start taking long morning walks, something he could not do before the second surgery.
For more details on this individual’s experience, check out Health Beat: Augmented Reality for Spine Surgery.