Review Article

Langenbeck's Archives of Surgery

, Volume 398, Issue 4, pp 501-514

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Navigation in surgery

  • Uli MezgerAffiliated withBrainlab AG Email author 
  • , Claudia JendrewskiAffiliated withBrainlab AG
  • , Michael BartelsAffiliated withBrainlab AG



“Navigation in surgery” spans a broad area, which, depending on the clinical challenge, can have different meanings. Over the past decade, navigation in surgery has evolved beyond imaging modalities and bulky systems into the rich networking of the cloud or devices that are pocket-sized.


This article will review various aspects of navigation in the operating room and beyond. This includes a short history of navigation, the evolution of surgical navigation, as well as technical aspects and clinical benefits with examples from neurosurgery, spinal surgery, and orthopedics.


With improved computer technology and a trend towards advanced information processing within hospitals, navigation is quickly becoming an integral part in the surgical routine of clinicians.


Neuronavigation Orthopedic surgery Image-guided surgery Digital OR CAS