To determine whether using robots in spine surgery results in more clinical advantages and fewer adverse consequences.
Between October 1990 and October 2022, a computer-based search was conducted through the databases of PubMed, Cochrane Library, Embase, Web of Science, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, China Biology Medicine, VIP databases, and WAN FANG. The study only included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing the clinical efficacy and safety of robot-assisted surgery with those of conventional spine surgery. The review was conducted following PRISMA 2020, and AMSTAR-2 was used to evaluate the methodological quality. R version 4.2.1 was used in the meta-analysis. The Cochrane Collaboration Tool was used for evaluating the risk of bias.
This study analyzed 954 participants from 20 RCTs involving cervical spondylosis, lumbar degenerative disease, scoliosis, etc. The robot-assisted group outperformed the freehand group in terms of intraoperative blood loss, number of screws in grade A position, grade A + B position, radiation dose, and hospital stay. Operation duration, visual analog scale scores of low back pain, Oswestry disability index, and radiation exposure time did not significantly differ between the two groups.
Although robotic spine surgery is more accurate in pedicle screw placement than conventional methods, the robot group did not demonstrate an advantage in terms of clinical efficacy. Studies of complications and cost-effectiveness are still very rare.