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Apr 13, 2021

Fox 13 spotlights "first of its kind" robotic surgery by Dr. Kevin Foley

Local Memphis station Fox 13 follows Dr. Kevin Foley as he debuts an innovative surgical robotic system that is a game-changer in the world of spine surgery.

Recently, Army Veteran and Semmes Murphey patient Bobby Gallimore was the first to receive a spine fusion using the Fusion Robotics system. The Fusion Robotics system is a robot developed by Dr. Kevin Foley to improve the quality and accessibility of spine care.

Superior Care

Although robotic spine surgery is not a new industry, this particular robot is the very first of its kind. The system is smaller, more agile, and more portable than typical robots on the market. It uses specialized technology to place screws during a spine fusion surgery with increased accuracy.

"The placement of screws in a spine fusion procedure is critical to a successful spine fusion." Improper placement can lead to weakness, soreness, and injury for the patient. "In the operating room, the human touch and the mind of an experienced surgeon can never be replaced. However, guiding this portion of the surgery with a technologically advanced robot can offer a very high-quality outcome for the patient."

Foleybot Frank F 1st case

Dr. Kevin Foley and Semmes Murphey Spine Fellow, Dr. Frank Farokhi overseeing robotic procedure

One of Semmes Murphey Clinic's founding principles is the advancement of the field of neuroscience. So other Semmes Murphey Clinic physicians have aligned behind the effort and used the new tech in their own OR including neurosurgeon Raul Cardenas. Dr. Cardenas is a 3rd generation neurosurgeon who has experience with a variety of robotics systems. After introducing it to his patients, he marks the Fusion Robotics System as a standout. "My first surgery with the platform went very well.. it was a seamless integration. I'd say the platform is an excellent addition to a neurosurgeon's toolbelt and I see a very positive future for long-term patient outcomes with this", said Dr. Cardenas.

Raul Cardenas in OR

Dr. Raul Cardenas in the operating room

Increased Accessibility

Accessibility to top-tier robotics systems is not possible for most hospital systems—especially rural hospitals. The equipment needed for robotic surgery procedures is expensive, large, and difficult to store. The Fusion Robotics system was built with those pain points in mind. The robot is 1/4 of the price of the typical spine fusion robot, and the team at Fusion Robotics hopes that this will make it possible for more hospitals to purchase the machine. "With the surgical accuracy and price-point of this technology, it is easy to see that robotic technology will now become more available to both large medical centers, as well as, smaller regional hospitals; an opportunity that has not been available until now," commented Kimberly Hallum-Stewart, System Administrator for Neurosciences at Baptist