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New training method for hip surgery
Date:2/7/2008

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 bo
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Contact: Colin Smith
cd.smith@imperial.ac.uk
020-759-46712
Imperial College London
Source:Eurekalert

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