Clara Berlin, Markus Quante, Bjoern Thomsen, Mark Koeszegvary, Uwe Platz, David Ivanits, Henry Halm

August 2020, Volume 29, Issue 8, pp 2036 - 2045 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-020-06465-w

First Online: 23 May 2020

Intraoperative radiation exposure to patients in idiopathic scoliosis surgery with freehand insertion technique of pedicle screws and comparison to navigation techniques


In surgical correction of scoliosis with pedicle screw dual-rod systems, frequently used freehand technique of screw positioning is challenging due to 3D deformity. Screw malposition can be associated with serious complications. Image-guided technologies are already available to improve accuracy of screw positioning and decrease radiation to surgeon. This study was conducted to measure intraoperative radiation to patients in freehand technique, evaluate screw-related complications and compare radiation values to published studies using navigation techniques.


Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data of 73 patients with idiopathic scoliosis, who underwent surgical correction with pedicle screw dual-rod system. Evaluated parameters were age, effective radiation dose (ED), fluoroscopy time, number of fused segments, correction and complications. Parameters were compared with regarding single thoracic curve (SC) and double thoracic and lumbar curves (DC), adolescent (10–18 years) or adult (> 18 years) idiopathic scoliosis, length of instrumentation. ED was compared with values for navigation from online database.


Average age was 21.0 ± 9.7 years, ED was 0.17 ± 0.1 mSv, time of fluoroscopy was 24.1 ± 18.6 s, 9.5 ± 1.9 fused segments. Average correction for SC was 75.7%, for DC 69.9% (thoracic) and 76.2% (lumbar). No screw-related complications. ED was significantly lower for SC versus DC (p 


Compared to navigation procedures, freehanded positioning of pedicle screws in experienced hands is a safe and effective method for surgical correction of idiopathic scoliosis with a significant decrease in radiation exposure to patients.

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