Novel 2D long film imaging utility to avoid wrong level spinal surgery

Rajiv Dharnipragada, Bryan M Ladd, Kristen E Jones, David Polly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Wrong-level spinal surgery (WLSS) can lead to increased morbidity, cost, and worse long-term outcomes. Current intraoperative localization methods rely on counting spinal levels from a known reference location using fluoroscopy. Miscounting from a reference is an intraoperative error that leads to WLSS, especially for those with anatomical variations. The problem is exacerbated when fluoroscopy is not able to produce images with the clarity needed to confidently count levels, a prevalent issue for obese patients. A new feature called the “2D Long Film'' is available for the Medtronic (Minneapolis, MN) O-arm Surgical Imaging System. Using this novel technology and standard fluoroscopy, this study reports the imaging of two obese adult female patients with a body mass index of 36.9 and 42.0 undergoing transforaminal thoracic interbody fusion. Fluoroscopy images of obese patients are difficult to capture for two reasons: increased scatter and restricted field of view. This report demonstrates that 2D Long Film can improve both these issues for obese patients in need of thoracic localization. The 2D Long Film captures existing instrumentation, localization needles, and the vertebral levels in a clear single image. We display the differences between standard fluoroscopy and the 2D Long Film for thoracic level localization, demonstrating a potential new standard of care and better visualization, leading to a less challenging vertebrae localization process, potentially mitigating WLSS risk. The quality of this new 2D Long Film feature could also reduce time in the operating room and the necessity of other visualization methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2400-2403
Number of pages4
JournalRadiology Case Reports
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022


  • Deformity
  • Imaging
  • Surgical navigation
  • Technology
  • Thoracic surgery

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Case Reports


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