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Saturday 29th April 2017

Hip surgery success boosted

11th February 2008

UK scientists have developed a robot which can be used during hip surgery and is so successful that untrained students can obtain accurate results using it.


Hip surgery which uses chrome alloy to recoat the ball of the hip joint is extremely complicated and usually needs many years of surgical experience in order to become proficient.

Around 5,000 operations are performed in the UK annually.

PhD students at Imperial College London have built a robot which, when used in"virtual" operations has been very successful.

The robot correlates the moves of surgical instruments in relation to pictures of the bones. This allows surgeons to view a "real-time virtual model of the progress of the operation".

The robot then maps out the places where cuts should be made during surgery and finds the accurate angles for putting in the chrome alloy parts.

Clinical trials using the robot are currently in progress at Warwick Hospital, Bath Hospital, Truro Hospital and the London Clinic.

The researchers studied 32 medical students who performed hip operation on a virtual model. The students could perform the operation with three times more accuracy than if they used "conventional methods to manually navigate the joint."

Professor Justin Cobb, of Imperial College London, told delegates at the British Society for Computer Aided Orthopaedic Surgery Conference in Glasgow:

"The reason for using students in the study was to show that even students, with the right technology, can achieve expert levels straight away."

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