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New Surgical Tool Holds Orthopedic Procedures in Check

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 09 Mar 2016
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Image: The BendGuide opto-electronic drilling system (Photo courtesy of HUJI – Hebrew University Jerusalem, Israel).
Image: The BendGuide opto-electronic drilling system (Photo courtesy of HUJI – Hebrew University Jerusalem, Israel).
A novel drill guide will enable surgeons to perform highly accurate hip fracture and spinal fusion procedures with minimal side effects.

Developed by researchers of the BioDesign team at the Hebrew University (HUJI; Jerusalem, Israel) and Hadassah Medical Center (Jerusalem, Israel), the BendGuide opto-electronic drilling system provides real-time indication of deflection or bending of the guide-wire during orthopedic surgery. This allows surgeons to adjust drilling trajectories to the correct angulations before any damage occurs, and ensure that fixation screws are placed properly.

The system, which uses a fiber-optic guidewire with a reflecting laser beam, enables detection of small deflections in wire trajectory. At a fully-aligned state, the beam power hits the center of the detector array; when deflected, mirror misalignment causes the power to spread differentially across the fiber bundle, indicating a trajectory shift. The fiber bundle also eliminates guide-wire bending or breakage, while enhancing safety and significantly reducing operation times.

“This is an elegant technological solution to a complex problem,” said Prof. Yaakov Nahmias, PhD, director of the HUJI BioDesign center for bioengineering. “The group model and proof-of-concept experiments showed they could detect even miniscule changes in guide-wire trajectory.”

Hip fracture fixation is performed on 258,000 patients a year in the United States alone, while spinal fusion accounts for a further 350,000. As the population ages and obesity increases, the number of these surgical procedures is expected to grow. Complications in guide-wire positioning during fusion procedures can lead to revision surgeries and increase hospitalization time and cost.

Related Links:
The Hebrew University, Jerusalem
Hadassah Medical Center


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