Title:
SURGICAL CONTAINER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Systems and methods are described for facilitating surgical procedures. A container is provided that has tool compartments configured to maintain one or more tools for use during the surgical procedure, binders used to maintain membranes and other materials at a point of repair and fasteners for fixing the binders to bone. Thus, in a single container, a selection of components, tools and other elements are provided to a practitioner. Combinations of components are identified to allow quick identification of compatible elements suitable for a specific procedure and repair site.



Inventors:
Bartee, Barry K. (Lubbock, TX, US)
Bartee, Chaddick M. (Lubbock, TX, US)
Application Number:
13/073890
Publication Date:
09/29/2011
Filing Date:
03/28/2011
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D85/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PERREAULT, ANDREW D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PILLSBURY WINTHROP SHAW PITTMAN LLP (CV) (ATTENTION: DOCKETING DEPARTMENT P.O BOX 10500, McLean, VA, 22102, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A container comprising: one or more tool compartments configured to maintain a tool for use during a surgical procedure; one or more spaces configured to maintain a plurality of differently sized membranes, each membrane adapted for fixing to bone, and further adapted to facilitate repair of a portion of the bone; a section configured to organize a plurality of sets of fasteners; and a plurality of covers, the plurality of covers including a dial adapted to provide selective access among the plurality of sets of fasteners.

2. The container of claim 1, wherein two of the sets of fasteners comprise fasteners of the same fastener type, and wherein each of the two sets has fasteners that are differently sized from the other of the two sets.

3. The container of claim 1, wherein each of two sets of fasteners comprise fasteners of the same fastener type, and wherein each of the two sets has fasteners that are of a different type than the fasteners in the other of the two sets of fasteners.

3. The container of claim 1, wherein one of the sets of fasteners comprises a plurality of different fasteners arranged in a combination of fasteners selected for the surgical procedure.



4. The container of claim 3, wherein the combination of fasteners corresponds to at least one of a plurality of binders, the at least one binder and the corresponding combination of fasteners being matched for the surgical procedure, wherein the binder assists fastening of the membrane to the bone.

5. The container of claim 4, wherein the surgical procedure comprises a reconstructive surgical procedure and wherein the container further comprises one or more compartments for containing the plurality of binders.

6. The container of claim 5, wherein the combination of fasteners and the at least one of the plurality of binders is selected to immobilize the membrane proximate to the bone, thereby enabling the membrane to facilitate growth of the bone.

7. The container of claim 6, wherein the tool maintained in the one or more tool compartments is adapted to manipulate the shape of the at least one binder.

8. The container of claim 6, wherein each of the covers are perforated to permit sterilizing of fasteners, binders, membranes and tools contained by the container.

9. The container of claim 5, wherein the tool maintained in the one or more tool compartments is adapted to fasten each of the combination of fasteners to the bone.

10. The container of claim 5, wherein the tool maintained in the one or more tool compartments is adapted to cut or trim the membrane.

11. The container of claim 5, wherein each of the covers are perforated to permit autoclaving of fasteners, membranes and tools contained by the container.

12. A method for organizing components used during reconstructive surgery, comprising: providing a container having a container body and at least one cover, wherein the body and the at least one cover are perforated to permit contents of the container to be sterilized by autoclaving; providing a tool in a tool compartment of the container, wherein the tool is configured for use during a surgical procedure; providing a plurality of differently sized binders in a binder compartment of the container, each binder adapted for fixing to bone, and further adapted to keep a material in place to facilitate repair of the bone; and providing a plurality of fasteners organized in sets of fasteners, each fastener adapted to fix at least one portion of one of the plurality of binders to the bone.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein the sets of fasteners comprise fasteners necessary to fix one of the plurality of binders to the bone, and further comprising identifying the sets of binders with the corresponding binder.

14. The method of claim 13, wherein each combination of fasteners and corresponding binder correspond to a predefined type of surgical procedure.

15. The method of claim 14, wherein the surgical procedure comprises a reconstructive surgical procedure and further comprising identifying a membrane stored in the container, the membrane corresponding to the combination of fasteners and corresponding binders.

16. The method of claim 15, wherein each combination of fasteners and corresponding binder is selected to immobilize the membrane proximate to the bone, thereby enabling the membrane to facilitate growth of the bone.

17. The method of claim 16, further comprising identifying a tool associated with the each combination, the tool being contained in the container and operable to fasten the corresponding binder.

18. The method of claim 16, further comprising identifying a tool associated with the each combination, the tool being contained in the container and operable to cut or trim the membrane.

19. The method of claim 16, further comprising identifying a tool associated with the each combination, the tool being contained in the container and operable to manipulate the shape of the at least one binder.

20. The method of claim 16, further comprising sterilizing the container and its contents in an autoclave.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present Application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/318,120 filed Mar. 26, 2010, titled “Surgical Container” which is hereby incorporated by reference herein for all purposes.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to systems and methods for managing equipment used in surgical procedures.

2. Description of Related Art

Operatory kits are used in the medical arts to maintain instruments, tools, materials, medicines and other components used in surgical procedures. These systems are individually packaged and sealed. Groups of the sealed packages are stacked on a tray or larger package that is filled according to a “shopping list” of components need for a specific procedure. Conventionally, the kits of separate packages are assembled from elements and/or groups of like elements having been previously individually sterilized.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Certain embodiments of the invention provide improved systems and methods for a container used in surgical procedures. Tool compartments of a container are configured to maintain one or more tools for use during the surgical procedure. Other compartments maintain a plurality of differently sized binders that can be fixed to bone and used to keep a material in place to facilitate repair of a portion of the bone. A further section organizes a plurality of sets of fasteners. Covers keep the contents of the container in place and a dial cover is used to selectively access different sets of fasteners. The sets of fasteners comprise fasteners of the same fastener type and/or sets of fasteners that can be used with a binder selected during the surgery. The sets of fasteners can be organized as sets of commonly sized fasteners and/or sets of the same type of fasteners.

Certain embodiments of the invention provide systems and methods for organizing components used during reconstructive surgery. These embodiments comprise providing a container having a container body, at least one cover and contents that may be needed during the procedure. The body and the at least one cover are perforated to permit contents of the container to be sterilized by autoclaving. The container may comprise a tool in a tool compartment, a plurality of differently sized binders in a binder compartment, a plurality of fasteners organized in sets of fasteners and a membrane.

In certain embodiments, the sets of fasteners comprise fasteners necessary to fix one of the plurality of binders to the bone. The sets of binders can be identified with the corresponding binder, a predefined type of surgical procedure, a membrane stored in the container and/or a tool for use with the fasteners, membrane or binder.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic showing one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 shows a fastener selector dial according to certain aspects of the invention.

FIG. 3 shows an example of a cover of a container according to certain aspects of the invention.

FIG. 4 shows a screw of a type maintained in a container according to certain aspects of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Embodiments of the present invention will now be described in detail with reference to the drawings, which are provided as illustrative examples so as to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention. Notably, the figures and examples below are not meant to limit the scope of the present invention to a single embodiment, but other embodiments are possible by way of interchange of some or all of the described or illustrated elements. Wherever convenient, the same reference numbers will be used throughout the drawings to refer to same or like parts. Where certain elements of these embodiments can be partially or fully implemented using known components, only those portions of such known components that are necessary for an understanding of the present invention will be described, and detailed descriptions of other portions of such known components will be omitted so as not to obscure the invention. In the present specification, an embodiment showing a singular component should not be considered limiting; rather, the invention is intended to encompass other embodiments including a plurality of the same component, and vice-versa, unless explicitly stated otherwise herein. Moreover, applicants do not intend for any term in the specification or claims to be ascribed an uncommon or special meaning unless explicitly set forth as such. Further, the present invention encompasses present and future known equivalents to the components referred to herein by way of illustration.

Certain embodiments of the invention comprise a container 10 that may be used during surgical procedures as shown in FIG. 1. Container 10 may be configurable for use as a tray during the surgical procedure. Container 10 is typically provided with a plurality of chambers configured to maintain components to be used during a type of procedure. For example, a procedure for repairing bone may include the use of a binder to maintain a membrane in a fixed position to facilitate bone repair. In one example, a procedure may attempt to stimulate regeneration of bone in defects caused during oral reconstructive surgery, or caused by tooth extraction, cyst formation, surgery, trauma, or destruction by periodontal or peri-implant disease. In many instances, the structure and dimensions of desired binders and membrane material is discovered during the procedure. In certain embodiments, a practitioner can select components appropriate for a procedure from a variety assembled in the container 10.

Certain embodiments of the invention maintain a selection of components that may be used or needed during the procedure. Components can include fasteners used in certain common procedures. Fasteners can include screws, pins and posts of various sizes (length and diameter), thread pitch and so on. In the example of FIG. 1, certain compartments may be accessed by manipulating a dial 12 to lock the container, to access fasteners and other component and materials for tenting. Other compartments may be provided to hold membranes and other bone repair materials. Moreover, dial 12 may provide access to differently sized fasteners used for tenting, membranes and bone. Other compartments 14 of the container 10 may house membranes and binders of various sizes, shapes, thickness and/or other characteristic.

FIG. 2 shows dial 12 in more detail and FIG. 3 depicts a cover used to hold components within their compartments. Dial 12 and covers are typically drilled or perforated to allow the passage of fluids, steam and/or hot gases used in sterilization process. In particular, the container is constructed to allow passage of high pressure steam in an autoclave.

The container may be produced from metal, but a high density polymer material can be used to obtain properties including strength and toughness sufficient to allow repeated use of the container. The materials used for manufacturing various components of the container are typically selected to withstand repeated sterilization within an autoclave. Thus, components used in surgeries may be maintained within the container 10 to be sterilized prior to a next procedure.

Referring again to the example depicted in FIG. 1, container 10 has plural compartments, which can be best seen in the cross section E-E identified by reference numeral 16. Certain of these compartments 16 are accessible through a corresponding one of several covers that permit access to sterile content. For example, a tool, such as a screwdriver, may be maintained in one compartment having a hinged cover. In one example, a screwdriver with cruciform head provides for easy screw pickup and safe transport of screws to the surgical site. Screws may be, for example, self-drilling titanium alloy membrane fixation screws. In certain embodiments the screwdriver may be provided as a handle portion that receives one or more blade portions, each blade portion matching at least one of the screw 40 types or sizes.

In certain embodiments, a substantially disk-shaped dial covers one or more compartments containing screws of various sizes. The dial cover can facilitate selection of different sizes, lengths and gauge of screw. It will be appreciated that the dial may be constructed to limit access to screws in a compartment in order to allow tracking of the contents of container 10. In the example shown in FIG. 3, screws 32 may be organized by size, function, or other category, each screw being held in place and presenting the head of the screw for easy pick up during surgery. Fasteners may be provided in a matrix of holes that are typically sized to receive a specified size of screw or fastener. Accordingly, the matrix of holes may be arranged in radial rows, and grouped into sectors of uniform sized holes, and each sector can be configured to hold a set of fasteners differently sized from the other sectors. For example, container 10 includes two sectors in screw organizer: sector 130 maintains a set of M4 screws, while sector 132 is one of two sectors of M3 screws. In certain embodiments, the matrix of holes may be substantially arranged in radial rows, and grouped into sectors configured to maintain a set of fasteners for use in a single procedure. Typically, in the latter embodiments, the set of fasteners is matched to one or more binders and, upon selection of a binder, a practitioner can generally find all fasteners necessary to complete the procedure. It will be appreciated that binders may not be used in certain procedures and membranes may be directly fastened to bone.

In the embodiment depicted in FIGS. 3 and 4, a selector dial 13 has a slot or notch (generally at 134) that can be rotated to uncover a desired sector of screws. Individual screws may be accessed through slot 134 which, in some embodiments, can be configured to allow access to a limited number of screws 320 which may be greater or less than a full sector of like fasteners. Thus, even if the container 30 is tipped or dropped, a limited number of screws can escape the container and an accounting for kit components can be performed more easily. In one example, the notch 134 allows access to 10 of 100 stored screws.

In certain embodiments, covers are perforated to permit autoclaving and the body of container 30 may also be perforated. During autoclaving, components typically remain in their respective compartments. Container 30 is typically constructed from using materials for both and covers that can tolerate autoclave temperatures and pressures. Steam autoclaves typically operate at temperatures between 120° and 135° Celsius. Container and/or tools can be constructed from materials including metals, alloys, polymers and other suitable materials. In one example, a heat stabilized polypropylene is used. In another example, stainless steel is used. In another example alloys in nickel, nickel-cobalt and titanium are be used, particularly for tool components. Other materials such as PBT, Acetal, PTFE, PPO and other high performance plastics may be used. Various other materials known in the art are suited for autoclaving.

Compartments of container 10, or other spaces provided in the container 10 may be used to hold barrier membranes, PTFE suture, self-drilling membrane fixation screws, self-drilling tenting screws, and self-tapping bone fixation screws. Embodiments of the system comprise a single kit designed to supply and store the variety of fixation screws used in regenerative practices. In one example, the kit includes a locking-taper cruciform drive system that allows easy pickup and safe transport of the screw to the surgical site, membrane fixation screws, such as 3 mm self-drilling titanium alloy screws designed to engage bone without the need for a pre-drilled pilot hole. Supplies of materials used in the kits can be used to replenish a container after surgery.

In certain embodiments, container 10 includes an autoclavable tray that conveniently stores and organizes all fixation kit components. In one example, screw organizer dial 13 may be configured and/or labeled in a way that allows easy organization of up to 100 self-drilling membrane fixation screws, self-drilling tenting screws and self-tapping bone fixation screws.

In certain embodiments, components may be assembled in the container to facilitate a specific surgical procedure. The components can comprise a combination of retainers that can be fastened to bone, fasteners suitable for fastening the retainers to the bone and a material, such as a membrane, that facilitates bone growth, in a manner that fills a gap, crack, hole or deformity in bone. Because conditions vary for a given procedure, certain embodiments have sufficient capacity to hold several sets and combinations of components. For example, condition, location and accessibility of bone may dictate the size and shape of retainer that should be used for a procedure, and may further dictate the size and type of fastener that can be used. Accordingly, different retainers may be associated with different sets of fasteners and the container may be configured for easy selection of components.

In one example, a practitioner may observe that a certain type and/or size of fastener may be needed during a surgical procedure. In certain embodiments, the selection of the type and size of retainer can be used to identify the set of fasteners required. This set of fasteners may be located within a common sector (see sectors 130 and 132 in FIG. 1 for examples of sectors) in a matrix of holes. Within the sector, fasteners may be organized by size, function and/or sequence of use. Spare fasteners may be provided. In some embodiments, a key or other index can be used to identify a suitable set of fasteners for use with one or more retainers and/or membranes. Likewise, tools provided in the container 10 may be indexed or otherwise associated with the set of fasteners and, thus, with the retainer selected for the procedure. Of course, it may be necessary to select the set of fasteners based on the type of tool that can be used in the space available, and the selection of retainer type may be dictated by the selection of tool and/or fastener. Nevertheless, an index, color-key or other coding method may be used to identify suitable components.

It will be appreciated that in certain embodiments, components will be organized by size, type or by other characteristic in order to provide a general purpose kit that can be used in any applicable surgical procedure. A container configured to provide a kit of components typically includes tools that may be required in one or more tool compartments.

Certain embodiments provide differently sized and shaped binders. The shape and size of the binder used in a surgical procedure can vary based on the size of defect to be repaired, the location of such defect, topography of bone surrounding and/or adjacent to the defect and proximity to other anatomical features, nerves, blood vessels, etc. Some binders may be manipulable to obtain a desired shape or profile and different types of binders may have different mechanical configurations to allow asymmetric fixation to bone. For example, binders can be X-shaped, cross-shaped, L-shaped, linear, shaped as a tripod or have some other symmetric or asymmetric shape. Typically, the binder is adapted and used to immobilize the membrane or other material within and/or proximate to a hole or other defect. The material may comprise a membrane that facilitates regrowth of bone or other repair of a portion of the bone.

In one example the, a container according to certain aspects of the invention holds a variety of tools, fasteners, membranes and binders that can be used during reconstructive surgery. The practitioner selects the size and shape of membrane required at the site of repair, chooses a suit binder and then retrieves the appropriate screws and other fasteners to hold the binder, and thus, the membrane in place to facilitate repair. In selecting the screws (such as the screw 40 shown in FIG. 4), the practitioner selects the appropriate sector of fastener retention element 13 of container 10 until notch 134 exposes the desired screw 40.

After a kit of components has been assembled, the container 10 can be placed within sterilization equipment such as an autoclave. Accordingly holes in the container and covers are provided to permit sterilization of components and elements maintained within the container 10. For autoclaving, each of the covers is perforated to permit flow of superheated steam sufficient to sterilize fasteners, binders, membranes and tools contained by the container.

In certain embodiments, the tool maintained in the one or more tool compartments is adapted to fasten each of the combination of fasteners to the bone. The tools in the one or more tool compartments can be a blade or other cutting device used to cut or trim the membrane, pliers, tweezers or other such device used to hold and/or manipulate the shape of binder.

ADDITIONAL DESCRIPTIONS OF CERTAIN ASPECTS OF THE INVENTION

The foregoing descriptions of the invention are intended to be illustrative and not limiting. For example, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the invention can be practiced with various combinations of the functionalities and capabilities described above, and can include fewer or additional components than described above. Certain additional aspects and features of the invention are further set forth below, and can be obtained using the functionalities and components described in more detail above, as will be appreciated by those skilled in the art after being taught by the present disclosure.

Certain embodiments of the invention provide systems and methods for a container used in surgical procedures. Certain embodiments comprise one or more tool compartments configured to maintain a tool for use during a surgical procedure. Certain embodiments comprise one or more compartments configured to maintain a plurality of differently sized binders. In certain embodiments, each binder is adapted for fixing to bone. In certain embodiments, each binder is adapted to keep a material in place to facilitate repair of a portion of the bone. Certain embodiments comprise a section configured to organize a plurality of sets of fasteners. Certain embodiments comprise a plurality of covers. In certain embodiments, the plurality of covers includes a dial adapted to provide selective access among the plurality of sets of fasteners.

In certain embodiments, two of the sets of fasteners comprise fasteners of the same fastener type. In certain embodiments, each of the two sets has fasteners that are differently sized from the other of the two sets. In certain embodiments, each of two sets of fasteners comprises fasteners of the same fastener type. In certain embodiments, each of the two sets has fasteners that are of a different type than the fasteners in the other of the two sets of fasteners. In certain embodiments, of the sets of fasteners comprises a plurality of different fasteners arranged in a combination of fasteners selected for the surgical procedure. In certain embodiments, the combination of fasteners corresponds to at least one of the plurality of binders. In certain embodiments, the at least one binder and the corresponding combination of fasteners are matched for the surgical procedure. In certain embodiments, the surgical procedure comprises a reconstructive surgical procedure. In certain embodiments, the container comprises a space for containing a membrane used to facilitate growth of the bone. In certain embodiments, the combination of fasteners. In certain embodiments, the at least one of the plurality of binders is selected to immobilize the membrane proximate to the bone, thereby enabling the membrane to facilitate growth of the bone.

In certain embodiments, the tool maintained in the one or more tool compartments is adapted to fasten each of the combination of fasteners to the bone. In certain embodiments, the tool maintained in the one or more tool compartments is adapted to cut or trim the membrane. In certain embodiments, the tool maintained in the one or more tool compartments is adapted to manipulate the shape of the at least one binder. In certain embodiments, each of the covers is perforated to permit autoclaving of fasteners, binders, membranes and tools contained by the container. In certain embodiments, each of the covers is perforated to permit sterilizing of fasteners, binders, membranes and tools contained by the container.

Certain embodiments of the invention provide systems and methods for organizing components used during reconstructive surgery. Certain embodiments comprise providing a container having a container body and at least one cover. In certain embodiments, the body and the at least one cover are perforated to permit contents of the container to be sterilized by autoclaving. Certain embodiments comprise providing a tool in a tool compartment of the container. In certain embodiments, the tool is configured for use during a surgical procedure. Certain embodiments comprise providing a plurality of differently sized binders in a binder compartment of the container. In certain embodiments, each binder is adapted for fixing to bone. In certain embodiments, each binder is adapted to keep a material in place to facilitate repair of the bone. Certain embodiments comprise providing a plurality of fasteners organized in sets of fasteners. In certain embodiments, each fastener is adapted to fix at least one portion of one of the plurality of binders to the bone.

In certain embodiments, the sets of fasteners comprise fasteners necessary to fix one of the plurality of binders to the bone. Certain embodiments comprise identifying the sets of binders with the corresponding binder. In certain embodiments, each combination of fasteners and corresponding binder correspond to a predefined type of surgical procedure. In certain embodiments, the surgical procedure comprises a reconstructive surgical procedure. Certain embodiments comprise identifying a membrane stored in the container. In certain embodiments, the membrane corresponds to the combination of fasteners and corresponding binders. In certain embodiments, each combination of fasteners and corresponding binder is selected to immobilize the membrane proximate to the bone, thereby enabling the membrane to facilitate growth of the bone. Certain embodiments comprise identifying a tool associated with the each combination. In certain embodiments, the tool is contained in the container and is operable to fasten the corresponding binder. Certain embodiments comprise identifying a tool associated with the each combination. In certain embodiments, the tool is contained in the container and is operable to cut or trim the membrane. Certain embodiments comprise identifying a tool associated with the each combination. In certain embodiments, the tool is contained in the container and operable to manipulate the shape of the at least one binder. Certain embodiments comprise sterilizing the container and its contents in an autoclave.

Although the present invention has been described with reference to specific exemplary embodiments, it will be evident to one of ordinary skill in the art that various modifications and changes may be made to these embodiments without departing from the broader spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, the specification and drawings are to be regarded in an illustrative rather than a restrictive sense.