This machine is really a portable intraoperative CT scanner. CT scanning as most know is a tool to illuminate the spine with three dimensional images. A surgeon can view the spine not only from the front or side but also from the top down in what are called axial sections.
When incorporated with the stealth GPS device, placing tools or instrumentation into the spine is significantly safer and much more accurate. For example, patient anatomy can be inconsistent. If a screw is being placed in the pedicle of a vertebra and that pedicle is exceptionally small or twisted; placing the screw safely without irritating the nerve is a real surgical challenge. With the O arm and Stealth image on the video screen, this deformity is demonstrated and accurate placement of the screw in spite of this distortion will be straight forward. The ability to place these screws in distorted anatomy makes the surgery quicker, safer and more reliable.
A final CT scan can be done while the patient is still asleep to confirm the safe placement of this hardware. This tool also allows for much smaller incisions (minimum incision microsurgery or MIMS) and less exposure by the patient to x-rays. The O-Arm is a significant advance to reduce anesthesia time and allow precision in placement of hardware in the delicate spine.