Use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging in the Design and Manufacture of Patient Specific Posterior Pedicle Screw Insertion Guides for the treatment of Scoliosis

Year of award: 2021


  • Dr Deepak Kalaskar

    University College London, United Kingdom

  • Dr Karen Eley

    University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

  • Dr Evangelos Mazomenos

    University College London, United Kingdom

Project summary

Scoliosis surgery involves insertion of screws in the spine (called pedicle screws). Current techniques to insert these screws are not completely accurate. Even in international experts' hands, 25-30% of the screws are misplaced. Misplacement of screws has a high risk of bone weakening, injuries to the spinal cord, nerve roots or blood vessels. Getting screw placement wrong has long term health implications for young patients, including lifelong disability. More accurate methods use computer navigation or image guidance techniques. However, these involve using more radiation (X-rays, CT scans) before and/or during the surgery. Surgeons and parents are concerned regarding the long term effects of ionising radiation in young patients. Our work helps to address this unmet health need by developing MRI based imaging techniques to design patient specific pedicle screw placement devices, which improve the accuracy of placing screws in the spine and removing the need for ionising radiation.