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Hip Replacement Can Now Be Performed On Virtual Patients

European Researchers have now developed a system that would help doctors perform hip replacement surgeries// on a virtual copy of their real patient. This would greatly improve the treatment outcome for patients for whom it surgery is necessary.

Several techniques involving virtual reality, tissue profiling and stereoscopic vision have been culminated to create virtual patients that mimic the tissue of real patients. After the virtual surgery, doctors can even get a feedback regarding the likely success or failure of the operation. These devices create the force and resistance of real tissue, so when surgeons make a cut they feel the sensation of real surgery.

A lot of the implants being used presently are associated with a high failure rate, the cause of which is largely unknown. With the revolutionary development, surgeons can now test the effectiveness of different implants on the same individual.

The device semi-automatic modeling function that takes data from CT scans to make a virtual reconstruction of an individual patients' muscle tissue. The device has to be customized to model the tissue of each patient to get an accurate indication of the probable outcome before each virtual surgery.

The set up can also be voice controlled using simple commands. For example, a doctor would say 'I'm cutting the skin' or, 'I'm lifting the muscle', and the haptic system will adjust the force and pressure to suit that stage of the operation. In short, every effort has been made to perform the surgery as close to reality as is possible with current systems.

It's a very advanced application of virtual reality. Up to now, most medical systems simply replicated specific conditions, like appendicitis, for educational uses. The system could prove very cost effective if it reduces the number of implant failures, particularly due to the increasing ageing population.

In the future, the system could also be adapted to work in Co mputer-Aided Surgery. This is a growing area in medical science, with doctors increasingly taking advantage of the precision of robotic arms.

Medindia on replacement surgery:

Total Replacement Arthroplasty - When the whole of the joint is affected, it is completely removed and replaced by suitable artificial joint structure.

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