Office for Technology Commercialization

Haptic Feedback Predicts Pedicle Screw Breach during Spine Surgery

Technology #z09118

Questions about this technology? Ask a Technology Manager

Download Printable PDF

Image Gallery
Pedicle Screw Placement Imaging Proper Pedicle Screw Placement During Spine SurgerySpinal Surgery
David Polly, MD
Chief of Spinal Surgery, Department of Orthopedic Surgery
External Link (
Arthur Erdman, PhD
Department of Mechanical Engineering
External Link (
David Nuckley, PhD
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Charles Ledonio, MD
Department of Orthopedic Surgery
Tim Pommer, MS
Managed By
Kevin Anderson
Technology Licensing Officer 612-624-8293
Patent Protection

PCT Patent Application WO/2010/147972

US Patent Pending 2012-0179070

Spine Surgery Uses Haptic Feedback to Prevent Pedicle Breach

This device provides surgeons with haptic force feedback while performing minimally-invasive spine surgery. Tactile feedback guides the placement of pedicle screws during spinal fusions or reconstructive surgeries after spinal injury. In these types of surgeries, two screws must be carefully placed in the pedicle of the vertebra surrounding the spinal cord. Haptic feedback indicates the risk of pedicle breach, and allows preventive steps to be taken to reduce the chance of pedicle perforation. If these screws are not placed correctly they could breach the pedicle, damaging the spinal cord or soft tissue. The margin of error for placing pedicle screws during spine surgery is on the scale of millimeters, and it is important for surgeons to have the proper tools to guide screw placement. This technology improves the accuracy of screw placement, and the safety of spine surgery involving pedicle screws.


  • Reduces risk of pedicle breach during spine surgery
  • Provides real time force feedback to the surgeon
  • Device is able to predict pedicle breach before it happens and causes complications
  • Proper screw placement increases the positive outcomes of the surgeries
  • Reduces duration of surgery and exposure to radiation

Phase of Development Preliminary proof of concept testing in human cadaver and porcine models.