Less than six months after he visited Atlanta to talk about Hadassah’s innovations in back and spinal surgery in Jerusalem, surgeon Joshua Schroeder controlled one of two robots in an operation Sunday, April 23, that was the first of its kind in the world.

The dual robotic surgery repaired a severe spinal fracture that Jerusalem factory worker Aharon Schwartz, 42, suffered when a steel object pinned him to the ground, fracturing his leg in two places and breaking six of his spinal vertebrae.

The three-hour surgery took place in the $30 million, underground hybrid operating theater at Hadassah Ein Kerem’s Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower, Hadassah President Ellen Hershkin announced.  

Meir Liebergall, the chairman of the Hadassah Medical Organization’s orthopedic department and the head of the organization’s musculo-skeletal medicine division, predicted that Schwartz will completely recover and will be walking again soon.

Liebergall said the robots used in the pioneering surgery were Siemens’ Artis Zeego and Mazor Robotics’ Renaissance Guidance System.

Hadassh robot

Amal Khouri, the director of Hadassah’s Orthopedic Hospitalization Center, oversaw Artis Zeego, which provided three-dimensional imaging in real time during the surgery, eliminating the need for CT scans before the operation or X-rays afterward, Liebergall said.

Schroeder controlled the Renaissance Guidance System, a screw placement system that enables spinal implant placement with maximum safety and accuracy.

“Renaissance communicated with Artis Zeego during the minimally invasive surgery while Dr. Schroeder led the Hadassah orthopedic team in the insertion of 11 pedicle screws into the patient’s spine with clinical exactitude,” Liebergall said.

Hershkin celebrated another Hadassah Medical Organization world-first, “a dual robot-assisted spinal surgery, solidifying its reputation for world-class medical innovation and treatment.”

“Our congratulations go to Dr. Liebergall and his brilliant surgical team for continuing Hadassah’s mission of bringing groundbreaking medical care to the people of Israel,” she said.