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First robot to carry out spinal surgeries in Spain completes 50 operations

The machine has been carrying out between three and four operations a week in Barcelona


31 May 2021 01:39 PM


ACN | Barcelona

The first and only robot in Spain capable of operating on the spine, and one of just a handful in Europe, has completed 50 procedures over the past year. With this many operations, it has become the most active technology of its kind across the whole of Europe.

The technology, called Mazor X, is an initiative run jointly by the Chiropractic Hospital in Barcelona and the Clavel institute, and so far has received €1.5 million in investments.

After the robot’s first procedure in March 2020, the technology was put on hold due to the pandemic - but recently, the technology, called Mazor X, has been used in executing between three and four operations a week, which would equate to 150 a year

The Clavel institute’s director, Pablo Clavel, drew attention to the robot’s precision, enabling it to plan the operation “to the millimeter” and, since the spine is so fragile, ensuring “maximum safety” for patients.

This makes it the ideal tool for pathologies such as spinal degeneration or vertebral fractures, as well as for scoliosis and vertebral biopsies in the case of tumors. Other potential pathologies suitable for this kind of robotic operation are also being explored. 

“If we are able to plan exactly where to make a cut in the bone of the vertebra, where the nerves are underneath, who could be better at performing this cut than a robot?”, Dr. Clavel commented.

Safety and accuracy are just two of many benefits brought by the new technology. For instance, the director of Barcelona’s local private chiropractic hospitals, Dr. Germán Barraqueta, highlighted that the procedure is also much less invasive, reducing recovery time and freeing up hospital beds.


  • Reception area of the Vall d'Hebron hospital in Barcelona (by Narea Colomé/Raquel Navarro)

  • Reception area of the Vall d'Hebron hospital in Barcelona (by Narea Colomé/Raquel Navarro)