Introduction: The ultrasonic bone scalpel (UBS) is an ultrasonic device that cuts the bone, but does not harm the surrounding soft tissue and duramater. Such a type of selectivity of bone scalpel, particularly for bone destruction, makes the bone scalpel ideal for spine surgeries where there is the need to remove only bone adjacent to the duramater and neural structures, with the sparing of the duramater. Moreover, dural tear is the most common unintended complication of spinal surgeries nowadays.
Materials and methods: This is a retrospective study of 35 patients operated for spinal decompression – cervical, thoracic, or lumbar – between January 2015 and June 2016 at BJ Medical College, Ahmedabad.
Aim: To analyze the result of the use of UBS in spinal decompression over the conventional method of decompression, such as using the Kerrison Rongeur, high-speed burr drills, and conventional osteotome.
Observation and results: Out of the 35 patients in our study, 21 patients (60%) had cervical, 3 patients (8.6%) had thoracic, and 11 patients (31.4%) had lumbar pathologies. There is significant reduction in duration of surgery and need for blood transfusion. We considered the neck disability index (NDI) and oswestry disability index (ODI) scores to measure the clinical outcomes of using bone scalpel at the end of 1 year. Both the scores were significantly improved. We had one case of dural tear (2.9%) in a patient with lumbar canal stenosis. No neurological worsening in any patients was present.
Conclusion: The UBS is a unique surgical device that reduces heat production and decreases the chances of dural tear, which makes it a suitable instrument for different spinal surgeries in recent days.
Keywords: Dural tear, High-speed drill, Spinal decompression, Ultrasonic bone scalpel.
How to cite this article: Modi JV, Patel KR, Patel Z, Soman SV, Tankshali KV. Spinal Decompression using Ultrasonic Bone Scalpel: A Novel Ultrasonic Surgical Device. J Spinal Surg 2016;3(4):140-143.
Source of support: Nil
Conflict of interest: None