Welcome to Sheridan Memorial Hospital

1401 West 5th St. Sheridan, WY
   —   307.672.1000

Spine Surgery

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery at Sheridan Memorial Hospital

Minimally invasive spine surgery is a treatment that spine surgeons use to take care of patients with deteriorating spine conditions. The technology incorporates revolutionary robotic guidance for implant positioning and real-time visualization of patient anatomy. This helps surgeons operate through small incisions along the spine. The technique involves separating the muscles surrounding the spine to access the treatment site, rather than the traditional method of cutting through muscles, tendons and ligaments.

The guidance system is anatomically precise, eliminating the guesswork.
Screw placement, used to treat some spine conditions, can be technically demanding to place free hand. The robotic technology enables a 1.5 mm accuracy.

The robotic guidance system does not function independently. It cannot cut or perform any action on the body. The surgeon still performs the actual work during surgery and is in full control of the system at all times.

Benefits to Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Minimally invasive spine surgery is more precise. It also lessens the negative effects that surgery can have on the body. That means you get the most advanced care available, enjoy a quicker recovery and return to the activities you love sooner.
  • Faster recovery
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Greater precision
  • Smaller incisions
  • Less radiation exposure
  • Less risk for infection
  • Less operating time
  • Less blood loss
  • Less tissue & muscle damage
  • Better outcomes

“Minimally invasive spine surgery will have a positive impact for the people of this community who need spine surgery,” says Dr. Ulibarri. “Prior to having this technology, I occasionally had to refer patients to large urban medical centers if they were high risk, had tumors in hard to reach places, needed complex revisions, or had complicated patterns of trauma injury. Now I can perform more of those cases here, which means patients can be close to home where they have the support of family and friends.”

How Does It Work?

Surgeons can perform surgery on the neck, thoracic spine and low back to treat degenerative disease, trauma, infection and tumors using the technology.  
  • Before the procedure begins, your surgeon uses advanced 3D planning software to create a surgical blueprint for your particular condition.
  • From those images, the surgeon determines the size and placement of implants and creates a surgical plan based on your anatomy. 
  • The blueprint also establishes the guidelines for the robotic tool in order to provide safe navigation around critical structures, such as the spinal cord, spinal nerves and major blood vessels.
  • Once instruments are in position, the surgeon places the implants safely and with the highest level of accuracy in the exact pre-planned locations.
  • The navigation piece provides real-time visualization of instrument and implant positioning. That enables the surgeon and staff to monitor your anatomy continuously throughout the procedure.

How Do I Learn More?

Talk to your primary care doctor to determine if you are a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery and whether this treatment option is right for you. 

James Ulibarri, MD with Sheridan Orthopaedic Associates is a highly regarded spine surgeon in the region. He is a board certified orthopedic surgeon who is also fellowship trained and certified in spine. He performs standard as well as minimally invasive spine surgeries and dedicates his practice strictly to spine care. Visit Sheridan Orthopaedic Associates website for more information about Dr. Ulibarri.