In the field of arthroscopy (minimally invasive surgery in joints), approximately 60000 operations are performed in the Netherlands each year. The view of the operation area is presented on a monitor by means of an arthroscope that is connected to a camera. However, even if all vision equipment is functioning properly, the view can still be severely disturbed by debris and blood. This disrupts surgical workflow, increases operation time and increases the risk of unintended tissue damage while using cutting instruments.
Our philosophy is to develop of an automated technique for obtaining a clear view by controlling the irrigation pump with images from the arthroscopic view itself. Thereto, in-depth study of joint irrigation in clinical practice has been performed to identify disturbing factors and control options. Subsequently, the definition of optimal arthroscopic view has been formulated through quantification of the subjective opinion of surgeons. With this, the regulation of the arthroscopic view can be achieved by using image features that enable automated joint irrigation.
Focus on specific challenges
Challenges that have been solved were the following: objective assessment of the performance of existing irrigation pumps, design of the ArthroSpeedFlush irrigation sheath, build of an experimental set up for comparison of different irrigation strategies objectively and a start with developing the control system. These solutions are found in the pictures and associated scientific papers in the blog roll of this project.
Grants & Awards
- 2004 VENI-grant from Technology Foundation STW, applied science division of NWO Topic: Optimization of arthroscopic view