Spine surgeons at UC Davis Health are using an imaging tool known as EOS to visualize conditions of the spine.
The system captures two simultaneous head-to-toe images of bones using significantly less radiation than other options. It uses 20 times less radiation than basic computed tomography (CT), and two to three times less radiation than traditional X-ray. It also provides high-quality, 3D images in a short period of time that can guide patient care and research.
Surgeon Eric Klineberg uses the system to track changes in spinal alignment over time. It is especially helpful for his patients with spinal deformities like scoliosis (curvature of the spine), pelvic obliquity (misalignment of the pelvis), flexion contractures (bent joints) and leg length discrepancies.
Klineberg prefers the technology for images of children and young adults in order to reduce their lifetime radiation exposure.
“When we are looking for the overall shape of the spine and to track conditions, there’s nothing else like it,” Klineberg said. “The lower radiation dose and quality information on alignment are huge benefits to our patients.”
EOS is two perpendicular, 10-foot panels that look a little like the old telephone booth in the British television show “Dr. Who,” according to Klineberg. A patient steps inside and stands with arms overhead for less than one minute, while two X-ray planes take front and side images at the same time. Images are ready for evaluation within minutes.
The standing views provide realistic perspectives of the overall shape of the spine and its relation to the head, neck, pelvis and lower extremities.
“It is definitely a great option for developing and tracking treatment plans or planning surgery,” Klineberg said.
The UC Davis Spine Center offers a comprehensive, integrated approach to spine wellness and treatment. The center's experienced team of specialists provide consultations, expert diagnosis and the most current treatments — both surgical and nonsurgical. For information about the center's services and multidisciplinary team, visit the center’s website.