Shailesh Hadgaonkar, Alok Gupta, Siddharth Aiyer, Pramod Bhilare, Parag Sancheti

September 2023, pp 1 - 11 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-023-07922-y

First Online: 12 September 2023


Instrumentation using the intraoperative O-arm navigation technique appears safer than its predecessor techniques. However, only a handful of surgeons often used navigation during spinal surgeries. Too many operative glitches and unreliable navigation accuracy were the important reasons cited even by experienced surgeons for not using spinal navigation. We have studied the accuracy of pedicle screw placement during the learning curve and beyond it. We have also discussed in detail the intricacies of the technique and solutions to the difficulties encountered using spinal navigation.

Materials and methods

A total of 2000 thoracolumbar pedicle screws have been placed in the 324 spine surgeries meeting the inclusion and exclusion criteria included in this retrospective study. We have divided 2000 pedicle screw placements into consecutive groups of 200 each. We have compared these groups for the accuracy of screw placement with the surgeon’s experience.


The accuracy of pedicle screw placement using the “in-versus-out” grading system in group 1 was 85.5% which significantly increased in group 2 to 93.5% (p-value: 0.0099), and thereafter, there was a nonsignificant increase in subsequent groups with the graph achieving the shape of a plateau.


Surgeons should learn the correct principles of the technique of O-arm navigation to prevent the loss of accuracy and place pedicle screws with high accuracy. There is a learning curve of around 30–35 surgeries or 200 pedicle screw placements to acclimatize with the technique of O-arm navigation and learn its principles.

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