MedStar Orthopaedic Institute Expands Robotic Surgery Program

Introduces Spine Surgery Robot at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital

June 19, 2018

BALTIMORE—(June 19, 2018)—MedStar Orthopaedic Institute added spine surgery to its portfolio of advanced surgical robotics last week when Dr. Paul Asdourian, co-director of the spine program, used a revolutionary robotic guidance and navigation system at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, to perform lumbar decompression and fusion surgery on a 67-year old woman.

In a five-hour procedure, Dr. Asdourian used a 3-D, GPS guidance system with a rigid robotic arm to help orient placement of instruments and spine implants along a guided pathway. Robotic navigation provided continuous visualization and feedback during the placement of the fusion hardware.

“This is technology we are truly proud to offer our patients who require complex spine surgery,” said Dr. Asdourian. “Robotic surgery of the spine is one of the most significant advancements I have witnessed in 30 years of practice.”

In some cases, robotic surgery can be performed in a less invasive manner, which means less trauma to the muscles of the spine, smaller incisions, potentially shorter hospital stays and less risk of tissue damage and nerve injury.

Since 2017, MedStar Union Memorial has offered patients robotic technology for hip and knee replacements, ensuring precise and customized placement of the joint implants. Surgeons there have more experience using the robotic technology for joint replacement than any other orthopaedic program in the state, and MedStar Union Memorial is the only hospital using robotics for both joint replacement and spine surgery. 

About MedStar Orthopaedic Institute

In Central Maryland, MedStar Orthopaedic Institute combines the skill and expertise of more than 80 physicians at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, MedStar Harbor Hospital, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, The Curtis National Hand Center, and more than 20 community locations, giving you convenient access to the area's top orthopaedic, spine and sports medicine care. Our physicians treat the Baltimore Ravens, Baltimore Orioles, Washington Wizards, Washington Capitals, Baltimore Blast, Baltimore Brigade, US Lacrosse, and the majority of collegiate, high school and recreational teams in the region. Visit MedStarOrtho.org or call 877-34-ORTHO for an appointment.

About MedStar Union Memorial Hospital

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit, 223-bed acute care teaching hospital with a strong emphasis on cardiac care, orthopaedics, and sports medicine. With roots stemming back to 1854, MedStar Union Memorial has provided high-quality care for 160 years. As one of the region's top specialty hospitals, MedStar Union Memorial is home to: The Curtis National Hand Center, the largest hand center in the world, focused on the treatment of the hand and upper extremities; MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute, a premier cardiovascular program in the mid-Atlantic, aligned with Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute, the nation’s #1 heart program; and MedStar Sports Medicine, which includes the oldest hospital-based sports medicine program in Maryland (founded in 1979). In addition, MedStar Union Memorial offers a comprehensive range of inpatient and outpatient services including oncology, diabetes and endocrinology, general surgery, thoracic surgery, vascular surgery and palliative care.

MedStar Union Memorial is accredited by The Joint Commission (TJC). It is the first hospital in Baltimore to receive spine certification by TJC, and the first in the state of Maryland to receive advanced certification for palliative care. MedStar Union Memorial is also TJC-certified in hip and knee replacement and has been designated as a Primary Stroke Center and the Hand Trauma Center for Maryland.

MedStar Union Memorial is a proud member of MedStar Health, a non-profit, regional health care system with 10 hospitals and more than 20 other health-related services in the Maryland and Washington, D.C., area.

For more information, visit MedStarUnionMemorial.org.

Media Contacts

Debra Schindler
Regional Director, Media & Public Relations, MedStar Health Baltimore
410-274-1260
[email protected]


Carrie Wells
Media Relations Specialist, MedStar Health Baltimore
443-613-1569
[email protected]