Complications arising from a malpositioned screw can be both devastating and costly. The incidence of neurologic injury secondary to a malpositioned screw is reported to be as high as 7% to 12%. The advancement of image-guided technology has allowed surgeons to place screws more accurately and confirm correct placement prior to leaving the operating room. Only a small number of studies have examined image-guided pedicle screw accuracy in terms of intraoperative revision and reoperation rates. The purpose of this study was to determine the intraoperative revision and return to surgery rates for navigated lumbar pedicle screws and to compare navigated open and percutaneous techniques. The authors reviewed 199 cases of 3-dimensional image-guided lumbar pedicle screw instrumentation from November 2006 to December 2011. Screw or K-wire removal, repositioning, or eventual abandonment of insertion were noted. Chi-square test was used to determine statistical significance in rates between the 2 groups (alpha=0.05). The authors also noted return to surgery secondary to complications from a malpositioned screw. The overall intraoperative revision rate of navigated lumbar pedicle screws was 4.6%. There were significantly more revisions in the percutaneously inserted screws (7.5%) than with the open technique (2.7%) (P=.0004). If K-wire revisions are excluded, there was no statistically significant difference in intraoperative revision rates between the percutaneous and open groups (2.1% vs 2.7%, respectively) (P=.0004). No patients underwent reoperation for a malpositioned screw. This technology has virtually eliminated the need for reoperation for screw malposition. It may suggest a more cost-effective way of preventing neurovascular injuries and revision surgeries.
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