The Role of the RN Circulator in a Navigated Posterior Spinal Fusion

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Volume 108, Issue 3 - September 2018
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The Role of the RN Circulator in a Navigated Posterior Spinal Fusion


The RN circulator plays a vital role in preparing for a minimally invasive spinal fusion with navigation by confirming that the necessary equipment and stakeholders are available and ensuring that the amount of equipment and the number of people in the room do not compromise patient safety or the sterility of the surgical field. Patients who undergo minimally invasive spinal fusion experience less blood loss, shorter hospital stays, and reduced costs than those who undergo open spinal fusion procedures. The overall successful fusion rates and improvement in patient quality of life are equivalent between the two approaches. Using navigation during minimally invasive and open spinal fusion procedures decreases radiation exposure to the patient and surgical team and helps ensure a more accurate placement of pedicle screws compared with non-navigated minimally invasive or open spinal fusions.

Key words: spinal fusion, minimally invasive surgery, transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion, navigation, pedicle screws.