Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Imperial research shows how medical robot could help end painful repeat hip operations for UK patients

08.02.2008
A new surgical robot is making medical undergraduates three times more accurate during practice hip operations, according to pilot study to be discussed at a conference this week (8 February 2008).

Delegates at the British Society for Computer Aided Orthopaedic Surgery Conference will hear that results from a pilot study saw graduates 95 per cent more confident using this robotic technique than when using conventional surgical methods in training.

Professor Justin Cobb, Head of the Biosurgery and Surgical Technology Group at Imperial College London, conducted the trial on 32 undergraduate medical students at Imperial College London from December 2006 to December 2007. The pilot study tested whether planning before an operation, combined with the latest robotic navigation equipment could increase the success rates of students practising hip resurfacing arthroplasty procedures – a method for correcting painful hip bone deformities by coating the femoral head with a cast of chrome alloy.

Up to 5,000 hip resurfacing operations happen each year. These operations are technically demanding and require precision and accuracy. Surgeons rely on years of experience and on different cameras, lasers and hand held tools to help them navigate during an operation.

Inexperienced surgeons often face a steep learning curve to gain the experience necessary to carry out hip resurfacing operations. Until now, this has only been gained through repeatedly performing the operations. This can cause problems because if hip bones are repaired incorrectly wear and tear occurs, requiring patients to undergo further painful and expensive corrective operations. Imperial researchers believe their method will address the issue at the undergraduate level.

Third year medical undergraduates were asked to trial a state-of-the-art robot called the Navigation Wayfinder - a new navigation tool never before used in the UK.

The Wayfinder is similar to a GPS tracking system. It helps the user to navigate during surgery by plotting correct surgical incisions. It also calculates the correct angles for inserting chrome alloy parts needed to repair hip bones.

It has twin digital arms protruding from a console. One senses the movement of surgical tools as they slice through a patient’s hip area. The other takes detailed images of the bones. This information is fed into software which generates a virtual model of a patient’s hip as it is being operated on. Similar to a 3D roadmap, it allows the user to plot the progress of an operation as they are performing it – a vital technique for ensuring that it is being carried out correctly.

Professor Cobb saw the benefits of incorporating the Wayfinder into undergraduate training and developed a three step training programme.

Students used model replicas of deformed hip bones for the trial, scanned by the Wayfinder’s digital arm. This information was used to create a 3D virtual model of the bone area.

The Wayfinder’s computer programme developed an operation plan setting out the actions required for undergraduates to correct the hip deformity.

Students were asked to carry out a virtual operation on the 3D model of the hip. Using the tool tracking arm, they practised techniques for fastening chrome alloy on virtual deformed hip bones. This built up their confidence, technique and skill.

They were asked to perform surgery on model casts of real hip bones. By using the Wayfinder to help them navigate, undergraduates were able to attach a post to the centre of the femoral head and thread it, via a guide wire, to the femur.

Professor Cobb then asked students to perform the same operation using conventional navigation tools. One method involved the use of jigs and alignments. Similar to geometry sets, they are metal surgical guides which helped undergraduates to manually align the femoral head as they attached it to the femur.

The second method required students to operate using an optical navigation device. A camera and pinpoint lights were used to create an image of the hip on a computer screen. This was used by undergraduates for visual navigation during the procedure.

Professor Cobb compared how undergraduates performed with each different method. He found that they were three times more accurate and precise using the Wayfinder than if they used the two other conventional methods.

Clinical trials using the Wayfinder are currently being carried out at Warwick Hospital, Bath Hospital, Truro Hospital and the London Clinic. Professor Cobb believes his training method could be applied throughout the UK to improve outcomes for patients. He said:

“Our research proves that we can take untrained surgeons and make them an expert in a new technique rapidly. More importantly, we’ve also demonstrated that no patient has to be on an inexperienced surgeon’s learning curve. This could significantly improve a patient’s health and wellbeing and ensure they do not have to undergo repeat operations.”

The British Society for Computer Aided Orthopaedic Surgery Conference will be held at the Beardmore Conference Centre, Glasgow, from 7th to 9th February 2008. For further conference details go to: http://www.caosuk.org/ .

Colin Smith | alfa
Further information:
http://www.caosuk.org/
http://www.imperial.ac.uk

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

nachricht Urbanization to convert 300,000 km2 of prime croplands
27.12.2016 | Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) gGmbH

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice

17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>