Robotic surgery breakthrough

Researchers from Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL), University of the West of England, UK, have led the development of a ground-breaking robotic surgery system that enables surgeons to put joint fractures back together using a minimally invasive approach.

This robotic surgery system was supported by EPSRC investment and is the first robot-assisted system designed to deal with joint fractures.

Professor Sanja Dogramadzi from the BRL worked alongside Professor Roger Atkins, an orthopaedic surgeon at University Hospital Bristol, UK, and MATOrtho®, a UK leading medical device company. Dogramadzi received funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to refine the system.

How will this technology change surgical procedures?

According to the EPSRC, broken bones that involve joints cause considerable disability and substantial NHS costs. To work properly and avoid painful arthritis, the pieces of the joint must be put back together perfectly.

Currently, surgeons do this by making a large incision to open up the area around the joint to see the broken parts of the bone. These wounds cause pain, scarring, infection risk and long hospital stays.

The Bristol team’s surgical system combines:

  • State-of-the-art 3D imaging;
  • Pattern recognition; and
  • Robotics.

CT scans of the bones are ‘interpreted’ by a mathematical algorithm which works out the exact displacement and rotation needed for each fragment to be put back together in exactly the right place.

The solution to this 3D puzzle is the starting point for the minimally invasive surgical robotic system that repositions the fragments under the surgeon’s supervision.

By ScitechEUROPA

Image Credit: ScitechEUROPA


About Peter Coffaro 605 Articles
A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 20 years of progressive management success within the medical device industry. As a District Sales Manager for Stryker Orthopaedics, Peter was responsible for managing and directing a regional sales force to achieve sales and profit goals within the Rocky Mountain region. Previously, he was the Director of Sales & Marketing for Amp Orthopedics. In this role, Peter was responsible for planning, developing, and leading all sales and marketing initiatives. Peter is a former orthopedic distributor in the Pacific Northwest. He has also worked with DePuy Orthopaedics as well as Zimmer, and held positions in sales, sales training, and sales management. Peter has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, negotiating and P&L management. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

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