18th January 20198:54 am18th January 20198:54 am
Spinal conditions such as scoliosis and kyphosis could be rectified with the help of robotic arms that semi-autonomously drill holes into individual vertebrae.
Prof Philip Breedon with two robot arms (Pic: Nottingham Trent University)
The technology promises to deliver previously unachieved levels of accuracy, partly because the robotic arms move in unison and naturally with the patients spine during the operation whilst drilling.
The advance forms part of research being led by Prof. Philip Breedon at Nottingham Trent Universitys Medical Design Research Group. The team also explored the use of augmented reality to provide surgeons with live visual feedback to illustrate the depth of each hole as it is drilled. Accuracy of drilling has been recorded at 0.1mm.
Surgeons performing life-changing operations to correct spinal conditions such as scoliosis or kyphosis have to ensure pinpoint levels of accuracy are achieved to avoid causing unnecessary and potentially serious injuries, said Prof. Breedon.
This technology promises to deliver greater levels of accuracy than ever previously achieved or even humanly possible to improve the safety and efficiency of such procedures which are needed by people with serious spinal conditions.
According to Nottingham Trent, the holes drilled in the vertebrae are used to ...