First Spine Surgeries Performed in Region Using Mazor X™ Robotic Platform


ThedaCare, Neuroscience Group Enhancing Access to Surgical Technology

May 21, 2020

NEENAH, Wis. – The surgical team of providers from ThedaCare and Neuroscience Group have successfully performed the first robotic-assisted spine surgeries in Northeast and Central Wisconsin using the Mazor X Platform this week. 

It is estimated that nearly 80% of the population will suffer from lower back pain at some point in their lives, with one in 20 of them needing surgery. As spinal surgery has evolved, more focus has been placed on new techniques often providing benefits of less blood loss, less radiation exposure, less tissue damage, and less pain and resulting opioid use. 

To enhance access to specialized care close to home, ThedaCare recently installed the new Mazor X StealthTM Edition Robotic Guidance Platform. ThedaCare, in partnership with Neuroscience Group, is one of the first in the area to offer this spine surgical technology to patients and is one of the first to adopt this technology in the United States.

“The Mazor X is a guide for the surgeon’s hands that provides a huge advance in accurate pedicle screw placement,” said Randall Johnson, MD PhD, neurosurgeon at Neuroscience Group and Spine Surgery Medical Director at ThedaCare. “This technology will set the standard for the future of minimally invasive and scoliosis surgery.” 

The Mazor X Platform enhances surgeons’ limited view of patients’ anatomy with a 3D surgical plans and analytics. This provides comprehensive information and visualization before the surgery starts, ultimately supporting the commitment to operate with precision. According to Dr. Johnson, this means the angle, width and length of every screw, is planned from the preoperative CT scan and two x-rays during surgery. It’s safer for the patient and the surgical team in terms of radiation exposure as it limits the amount of necessary x-rays. 

“A patient’s health and safety are top priorities for ThedaCare,” said Michael Hooker, DO, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Acute Care at ThedaCare. “By bringing new technology to our area, we are helping promote faster recovery times, reducing postoperative pain and improving results for our patients. We are committed to getting patients back to doing what they love most, as quickly as possible.”

Due to the COVID-19 response, much like health care systems across the country, ThedaCare made necessary adjustments to operations and services. In early May, ThedaCare began reinstating services that had previously been deferred, including surgeries. 

“Our mission is to improve the health of the communities we serve, and that means connecting our community members to the care they need,” said Lynn Detterman, Senior Vice President of ThedaCare South Region. “Because of our team’s tireless work through our intentional phased reopening plan, we have multiple safeguards in place and are in a position to begin offering essential and routine services for illness and ongoing medical care. We are proud to welcome technology like this to enhance our care options for patients.”

In early 2019, ThedaCare welcomed Neuroscience Group as the preferred partner for brain, spine and pain care. Neuroscience Group joined ThedaCare’s Accountable Care Organization (ACO), aligning more than 1,100 employed and affiliated like-minded healthcare providers who work actively together to be accountable for the quality, cost and overall care of patients in the region.
To meet growing consumer demand for convenient, specialized services, in November 2019, ThedaCare, Hand to Shoulder Center of Wisconsin and Neuroscience Group announced plans for a new collaboration creating the region’s first comprehensive Orthopedic, Spine and Pain Center. Total cost is expected to be $144M. The 230,000 sq. ft. Center is expected to open in late 2021.