Using Augmented Reality Technology to Optimize Transfacet Lumbar Interbody Fusion: A Case Report


The transfacet minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MIS-TLIF) is a novel approach available for the management of lumbar spondylolisthesis. It avoids the need to manipulate either of the exiting or traversing nerve roots, both protected by the bony boundaries of the approach. With the advancement in operative technologies such as navigation, mapping, segmentation, and augmented reality (AR), surgeons are prompted to utilize these technologies to enhance their surgical outcomes. A 36-year-old male patient was complaining of chronic progressive lower back pain. He was found to have grade 2 L4/5 spondylolisthesis. We studied the feasibility of a trans-Kambin or a transfacet MIS-TLIF, and decided to proceed with the latter given the wider corridor it provides. Preoperative trajectory planning and level segmentation in addition to intraoperative navigation and image merging were all utilized to provide an AR model to guide us through the surgery. The use of AR can build on the safety and learning of novel surgical approaches to spine pathologies. However, larger high-quality studies are needed to further objectively analyze its impact on surgical outcomes and to expand on its application.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Bardeesi, Anas, Troy Q Tabarestani, Stephen M Bergin, Chuan-Ching Huang, Christopher I Shaffrey, Walter F Wiggins and Muhammad M Abd-El-Barr (2024). Using Augmented Reality Technology to Optimize Transfacet Lumbar Interbody Fusion: A Case Report. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 13(5). pp. 1513–1513. 10.3390/jcm13051513 Retrieved from

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.



Christopher Ignatius Shaffrey

Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

I have more than 25 years of experience treating patients of all ages with spinal disorders. I have had an interest in the management of spinal disorders since starting my medical education. I performed residencies in both orthopaedic surgery and neurosurgery to gain a comprehensive understanding of the entire range of spinal disorders. My goal has been to find innovative ways to manage the range of spinal conditions, straightforward to complex. I have a focus on managing patients with complex spinal disorders. My patient evaluation and management philosophy is to provide engaged, compassionate care that focuses on providing the simplest and least aggressive treatment option for a particular condition. In many cases, non-operative treatment options exist to improve a patient’s symptoms. I have been actively engaged in clinical research to find the best ways to manage spinal disorders in order to achieve better results with fewer complications.


Walter Wiggins

Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiology

Muhammad Abd-El-Barr

Associate Professor of Neurosurgery

As a Neurosurgeon with fellowship training in Spine Surgery, I have dedicated my professional life to treating patients with spine disorders. These include spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, scoliosis, herniated discs and spine tumors. I incorporate minimally-invasive spine (MIS) techniques whenever appropriate to minimize pain and length of stay, yet not compromise on achieving the goals of surgery, which is ultimately to get you back to the quality of life you once enjoyed. I was drawn to medicine and neurosurgery for the unique ability to incorporate the latest in technology and neuroscience to making patients better. I will treat you and your loved ones with the same kind of care I would want my loved ones to be treated with. In addition to my clinical practice, I will be working with Duke Bioengineers and Neurobiologists on important basic and translational questions surrounding spinal cord injuries (SCI), which we hope to bring to clinical relevance.

Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.