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project Leg Holder

Development of a support system and handling of the leg during operations of the femoral head replacement.

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Requirements and design specifications

During operations of removal of the femoral head and subsequent replacement, the leg is subjected to a series of movements to expose part of the bone. Normally, a manual device is used for this purpose, or a nurse takes charge of moving the leg. The project is the result of the customer’s willingness to automate the manual device in order to:

  • free nurses from a strenuous activity;
  • allow the surgeon to manage the limb movements autonomously;
  • limit the forces applied to the limb;
  • monitor the operation parameters (applied forces, imposed movements);
  • configure the device according to the patient.

Performed activities

  • Global support, from concept to prototype:
    – Concept
    – Detailed Design
    – Realisation (mechanics, electrical system, assembly, start)
    – Development of control system software
    – HMI development
    – Test
  • Optimisation on the basis of the comments received and production of the pre-series.

Obiettivi raggiuntiGoals achieved

  • A leg holder whose movements are fully controlled by electric actuators.
  • Monitoring and limitation of the forces applied by the tool.
  • Servo assisted working mode (the device supports the surgeon, so that to move the patient’s leg he can apply a reduced force).
  • Monitoring of working operation (e.g. predictive maintenance):
    – number of tests carried out
    – number of electric motor working hours
    – test/testing function and assistance integrated into the device
    – easy to increase functionality of the instrument control
  • Easy to use device:
    – Touch screen display for interaction with operator
    – Effective synoptic schemes
    – Remote assistance and configuration
  • Driveable, also directly by the surgeon.
  • Compact solution, easily transportable.
  • The prototype has been praised not only for its functionalities, but also for having brought to light innovative solutions the customer had not thought of.

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