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Locking Screwdriver

Locking Screwdriver

ID2: Design the Solution

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Executive Summary

Orthopaedic screwdrivers are one of the most common pieces of instrumentation used in orthopaedic surgery. Many surgions experience common problems with existing screwdrivers. Firstly standard screwdrivers often fail to retain the screw when it is inserted into the surgical site.

Quick Detail

Innovation Owner:
Robert Chesters
Development stage:
ID2: Design the Solution

Project Detail

Unmet needs

Orthopaedic screwdrivers are one of the most common pieces of instrumentation used in orthopaedic surgery. Procedures range from Hand surgery, Foot and ankle surgery, Shoulder and elbow surgery, Musculoskeletal oncology,  Arthroplasty (Knee Surgery), Surgical sports medicine,  Paediatric orthopaedics and Orthopaedic trauma. Orthopaedic screwdrivers are used in these procedures for the fixation of screws and plates that are used to either repair a fracture site or rebuild scaffolding around damaged joints and tissue.  Many users experience common problems with existing screwdrivers. Firstly standard screwdrivers often fail to retain the screw when it is inserted into the surgical site. Screws can fall from the end of the screwdriver into the patient or onto the floor. If the screw falls into the patient it can take some time to retrieve it. Screws which fall onto the table or floor cannot be reused and have to be disposed of. Secondly during the removal of existing screws there is an increased risk of stripping and breaking the screw head if the screwdriver head fails to engage properly.  Both of these situations increase the procedure time with associated increased risks to the patient and added costs.

 

Proposed solution

A locking screwdriver has been developed by Medical Engineer Martin Philcox in partnership with Harvard healthcare. The new device uses a novel method which firmly locks the screw to the driver and then releases it only when the surgeon is satisfied it is securely placed. The prototype is currently going through a range of tests and evaluations prior to further development.

 

Intended benefits

This new device has a number of intended benefits:

  1. To retain screws securely preventing detachment and stripping of the screw head and associated increases in procedure time. Increased procedure time has associated increased risks to the patient
  2. To make the removal of existing screws easier and safer by reducing the risks of the screw head stripping or breaking. The removal of stripped or broken screws can increase the procedure time and therefore increase risks to the patient
  3. To reduce the associated costs of dropped screws which cannot be reused

 

Key Facts

Benefits

  • Clinical outcomes

Healthcare Areas

  • Acute Care

Health Problems

  • Trauma and Orthopaedics
  • Musculoskeletal

Origin

  • Domestic