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St Mary's Performs States First Robot-Assisted SI Joint Fusion to Treat Lower Back Pain


The Spine Center at Dignity Health St. Mary’s Medical Center recently combined the minimally invasive iFuse Implant System® procedure with the Mazor Robotics Renaissance® Guidance System to perform California’s first robot-assisted fusion of the sacroiliac (SI) joint, a common source of lower back pain. The goal of combining these two methods is to allow more accurate implant placement and enhanced patient safety.

“We’re proud to be the only hospital in California to offer patients this state-of-the-art technology for spine surgery,” said Pamela Lindemoen, president of St. Mary’s Medical Center.  “Our Spine Center surgeons have led the advancement of spine surgery in San Francisco for the last two decades with innovative approaches such as this.”

The Mazor surgical robot enables fast and precise placement of the titanium iFuse implants across the SI joint to help maximize SI joint fixation and post-surgical stability. The minimally invasive procedure takes approximately one hour and is done through a small incision, avoiding damage to surrounding soft tissue. This helps speed up recovery, whereas traditional SI joint fusion involves more invasive surgery, often requiring days-long hospitalization.

“SI joint issues are extremely common, with only recent advances of the surgical technique and understanding of the underlying causes of SI joint dysfunction,” said Dimitriy Kondrashov, MD, a surgeon with St. Mary’s Spine Center and associate program director of the San Francisco Orthopaedic Residency Program. “By combining these two methods, we now have a very safe and effective minimally invasive option for patients.”

This latest innovation adds to an impressive list of spinal devices and procedures researched and developed by the surgeons at the St. Mary’s Spine Center, including the X-Stop interspinous process device, ProDisc lumbar total disc replacement, FzioMed non-adhesive spinal gel, FlexiCore total disc replacement, CerviCore cervical disc replacement, Prestige cervical disc replacement, and Kiva vertebral augmentation system. 

 

About Dignity Health St. Mary’s Medical Center

Dignity Health St. Mary's Medical Center is an accredited, not-for-profit community hospital that has been caring for the people of San Francisco since 1857. Located across from Golden Gate Park, it is the longest continually running hospital in San Francisco. St. Mary’s has been named a 2014 Top Performer in Key Quality Measures by The Joint Commission for excellence in patient outcomes. For three consecutive years, from 2014 to 2016, St. Mary’s received the Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence from Healthgrades. St. Mary’s was also recognized as one of the Top 100 Orthopedic Programs nationally by Becker’s Hospital Review and is a Certified Stroke Center by the Joint Commission. St. Mary’s state-of-the-art Cancer Center offers the full-range of oncology, radiation, and imaging services. Beyond clinical care, St. Mary's is committed to furthering the healing ministry, and to providing high-quality, affordable healthcare to the community we serve. 

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