University Orthopedics’ Dr. Czerwein performs revolutionary robotic spine surgery

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (May 5, 2021) — Continuing the tradition of adopting the latest and best technology to provide the highest quality care possible for its patients, University Orthopedics is proud to announce one of its renowned spine surgeons recently became the first in Northern Rhode Island to incorporate a revolutionary robotic navigation platform during minimally invasive spine surgery.

Dr. John J. Czerwein, Jr. successfully performed the procedure using ExcelsiusGPS® at Our Lady of Fatima Hospital in North Providence, Rhode Island. The ExcelsiusGPS® is the world’s first technology to combine a rigid robotic arm and full navigation capabilities into one adaptable platform for accurate trajectory alignment in spine surgery. Similar to the GPS system in your car, this high-tech platform brings a greater level of precision to spine surgery, providing surgeons better visualization of patient anatomy throughout the procedure and allowing for a more precise placement of implants or other hardware. At the same time, the system streamlines the surgical workflow and reduces radiation exposure to the patient and surgical team. 

On the day of surgery medical images are taken and imported into the system. The surgeon uses these images to determine the size and placement of implants and creates a patient plan based on the individual’s anatomy. This is used to guide the rigid robotic arm to a specific region of your spine, similar to a planned route or pathway on a GPS. The surgeon uses this pathway or route to accurately place the implants using instruments. Throughout the procedure, the surgical instruments and implants are continuously displayed on the screen for the surgeon and staff to monitor. This display allows the surgeon to view live feedback during your procedure for more precise implant placement.

“At University Orthopedics, we are committed to providing the highest quality care to our patients. By allowing us to further refine minimally invasive spine procedures, platforms like the ExcelsiusGPS® allow us to fulfill that mission,” said Dr. Czerwein, who is one of the only spine surgeons specializing in minimally invasive surgical procedures in the region. “Like minimally invasive surgery, robot-assisted procedures require smaller incisions and cause less tissue damage, resulting in fewer complications, shorter hospital stays, and reduced pain for the patient. In the end, that’s what it’s all about.”

To learn more about how University Orthopedics can help you get out of pain, call 401-457-1500 or visit