Optical guide keeps orthopaedic procedures on target
24 February 2016
Doctors and engineers from the Hebrew University have created an opto-electronic drilling system that monitors guide-wire trajectory during orthopaedic surgery.
Common orthopaedic procedures, such as hip and pelvic fracture surgery as well as spinal fusion, require the accurate positioning of a thin metallic wire to guide the positioning of a fixating screw. However, the surgical procedure is often hampered by deflection, bending and even breakage of the guide-wire, which then requires repair while complicating and prolonging the recovery of patients.
“This is a significant challenge”, says Professor Meir Liebergall, head of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Hadassah Medical Center, “as complications in guide-wire positioning could lead to revision surgeries and increase hospitalisation time and cost.” To address this challenge, Professor Liebergall partnered with a multidisciplinary team of medical doctors, along with engineering and business students, from The Hebrew University's BioDesign: Medical Innovation programme.
Their solution: by creating a system that provides real-time indication of deflection or bending of the guide-wire, the surgeon will be able to adjust the procedure before damage occurs.
The team subsequently developed 'BendGuide', an opto-electronic drilling system that monitors and detects minute changes in guide-wire trajectory during surgery. It allows surgeons to correct drilling trajectories during the procedure itself. The system eliminates guide-wire bending or breakage and significantly reduces operation time and safety.