US20140018816A1 - Torque transmitting ball joint driver having a rigid fixation mechanism - Google Patents

Torque transmitting ball joint driver having a rigid fixation mechanism Download PDF

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Publication number
US20140018816A1
US20140018816A1 US13547540 US201213547540A US2014018816A1 US 20140018816 A1 US20140018816 A1 US 20140018816A1 US 13547540 US13547540 US 13547540 US 201213547540 A US201213547540 A US 201213547540A US 2014018816 A1 US2014018816 A1 US 2014018816A1
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US
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Patent type
Prior art keywords
driver
spherical head
input shaft
bushing
screw
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Pending
Application number
US13547540
Inventor
Matt Fenn
Jared Schoenly
Dave Evans
Michael White
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DePuy Synthes Products Inc
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Synthes USA LLC
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B17/00Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets
    • A61B17/16Bone cutting, breaking or removal means other than saws, e.g. Osteoclasts; Drills or chisels for bones; Trepans
    • A61B17/1613Component parts
    • A61B17/162Chucks or tool parts which are to be held in a chuck
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B17/00Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets
    • A61B17/16Bone cutting, breaking or removal means other than saws, e.g. Osteoclasts; Drills or chisels for bones; Trepans
    • A61B17/17Guides or aligning means for drills, mills, pins or wires
    • A61B17/1739Guides or aligning means for drills, mills, pins or wires specially adapted for particular parts of the body
    • A61B17/1757Guides or aligning means for drills, mills, pins or wires specially adapted for particular parts of the body for the spine
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B17/00Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets
    • A61B17/56Surgical instruments or methods for treatment of bones or joints; Devices specially adapted therefor
    • A61B17/58Surgical instruments or methods for treatment of bones or joints; Devices specially adapted therefor for osteosynthesis, e.g. bone plates, screws, setting implements or the like
    • A61B17/68Internal fixation devices, including fasteners and spinal fixators, even if a part thereof projects from the skin
    • A61B17/70Spinal positioners or stabilisers ; Bone stabilisers comprising fluid filler in an implant
    • A61B17/7074Tools specially adapted for spinal fixation operations other than for bone removal or filler handling
    • A61B17/7076Tools specially adapted for spinal fixation operations other than for bone removal or filler handling for driving, positioning or assembling spinal clamps or bone anchors specially adapted for spinal fixation
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B17/00Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets
    • A61B17/56Surgical instruments or methods for treatment of bones or joints; Devices specially adapted therefor
    • A61B17/58Surgical instruments or methods for treatment of bones or joints; Devices specially adapted therefor for osteosynthesis, e.g. bone plates, screws, setting implements or the like
    • A61B17/88Osteosynthesis instruments; Methods or means for implanting or extracting internal or external fixation devices
    • A61B17/8875Screwdrivers, spanners or wrenches

Abstract

An articulating driver having a ball-in-socket joint. The driver may include a driver tip having a spherical head, a retention cap having a domed surface to mate with the spherical head, an input shaft, a spring disposed in an end of the input shaft and in a recess of the retention cap opposite that of the domed surface, and a housing that receives the input shaft, the spring, the retention cap and the spherical head. The housing may have a tapered end to positionally retain the spherical head therein. In another aspect, the driver may include a driver tip coupled to the input shaft that includes an interface to engage a screw. A bushing may engage the driver tip at one end and receive the screw at the other end to retain the screw within the driver.

Description

    BACKGROUND
  • In procedures such as an anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF), lateral lumbar interbody fusion (XLIF), cervical spine surgery, etc., when a disc space has been cleared out, a metal, polymer, or bone spacer is typically implanted between the two adjoining vertebrae. After these spacers or “cages” are inserted, surgeons often use metal screws, plates, and/or rods to further stabilize the spine. To insert the screws, a driver device having an articulating driver head may be used to deliver the screws to their spinal column and lock them into place.
  • In such a driver device, a u-joint may be provided to allow the driver head to articulate with respect to an input shaft. However, the u-joint may have a range of angulation that makes it difficult for a user to maintain an appropriate force on a component (e.g., a screw) being driven. Further, in some drivers, a bushing within the driver head that retains a driver tip may wear out over time, which causes the driver tip to move around, thus making it difficult for the user to drive the component.
  • SUMMARY
  • The present disclosure provides an articulating driver and for a ball-in-socket joint. The driver may include a driver tip having a spherical head, a retention cap having a domed surface to mate with the spherical head, an input shaft, a spring disposed in an end of the input shaft and in a recess of the retention cap opposite that of the domed surface, and a housing that receives the input shaft, the spring, the retention cap and the spherical head. The housing may have a tapered end to positionally retain the spherical head therein. In accordance with an aspect, the spherical head has a plurality of grooves defined in a surface thereof and the housing defines a plurality of holes. Each of the holes may receive a pin that passes through the housing and is received within a respective groove of the spherical head.
  • In accordance with some implementations, there is provided a ball-in-socket joint that includes an input shaft, a output shaft having a spherical head, the spherical head having a plurality of grooves defined therein, a retention cap having a domed surface to mate with the spherical head, a spring disposed in an end of the input shaft and in a recess of the retention cap opposite that of the domed surface, and a housing that defines a plurality of holes and receives the input shaft, the spring, the retention cap and the spherical head, The housing may have a tapered end to positionally retain the spherical head therein. Each of the holes may receive a pin that passes through the housing and is received within a respective groove of the spherical head.
  • In accordance with some implementations, there is provided a ball-in-socket joint that includes a housing that defines a plurality of holes, where the housing is tapered at one end. The ball-in-socket joint also may also include an input shaft, a spring disposed in an end of the input shaft that is disposed within the housing, a retention cap disposed with the house that receives the spring at one end and has a domed surface at the other end thereof, and an output shaft having a spherical head that is disposed within the housing. The ball shaped head may have defined therein a plurality of grooves within which pins inserted into the holes or inward protrusions cooperate to transmit torque from the input shaft to the output shaft.
  • In accordance with some implementations, there is provided a driver having an input shaft adapted to transmit torque and a driver tip coupled to the input shaft. The driver tip may include an interface defined at an end thereof adapted to engage a screw. The driver may also include a bushing that engages the driver tip at one end and that receives the screw at the other end. The screw may be received within the bushing to engage the interface, and the input shaft is adapted to apply torque to the screw through the interface and to apply torque to the bushing by the engagement of the bushing with the driver tip.
  • In accordance with some implementations, there is provided a method of engaging a screw with a driver having an input shaft, a bushing, and a driver tip. The method may include engaging the bushing with the driver tip; advancing the bushing along a longitudinal axis of the driver tip in a first direction to expose a screw interface; receiving the screw at the screw interface; and moving the bushing in a second direction along the longitudinal axis to couple a head of the screw with the bushing to retain the screw within the driver.
  • This summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts in a simplified form that are further described below in the detailed description. This summary is not intended to identify key features or essential features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used to limit the scope of the claimed subject matter.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The foregoing summary, as well as the following detailed description of illustrative embodiments, is better understood when read in conjunction with the appended drawings. For the purpose of illustrating the embodiments, there are shown in the drawings example constructions of the embodiments; however, the embodiments are not limited to the specific methods and instrumentalities disclosed. In the drawings:
  • FIG. 1A illustrates a driver device having an articulating driver head;
  • FIG. 1B illustrates a sectional view of the driver device along section line A-A of FIG. 1A;
  • FIG. 1C illustrates a ball-in-socket joint of the driver devices of FIG. 1A in greater detail;
  • FIG. 2 illustrates a retention cap of FIGS. 1A-1C;
  • FIGS. 3A-3B illustrate a spherical head of FIGS. 1A-1C in greater detail;
  • FIG. 3C illustrates a sectional view of the spherical head along section line A-A of FIG. 3B;
  • FIG. 3D illustrates a sectional view of the spherical head along section line D-D of FIG. 3A;
  • FIG. 4A illustrates an articulation housing assembly of FIGS. 1A-1C in greater detail;
  • FIG. 4B illustrates a sectional view of the articulation housing assembly along section line B-B of FIG. 4A;
  • FIG. 4C illustrates a sectional view of the articulation housing assembly along section line A-A of FIG. 4A;
  • FIGS. 5-8 illustrate an engagement of a screw with a driver device such as that shown in FIG. 1;
  • FIGS. 9-12 illustrate an interaction of a stop region of a bushing of the driver device and an aiming device to provide disengagement of the screw from the driver device according to an embodiment;
  • FIGS. 13-20 illustrate an interaction of a stop region of a bushing of the driver device and an aiming device to provide disengagement of the screw from the driver device in accordance with another embodiment;
  • FIGS. 21-25 illustrate another embodiment of the driver device of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 26 illustrates another embodiment of the driver device of the present disclosure;
  • FIGS. 27A-27C illustrate another embodiment of the articulating driver of the present disclosure;
  • FIGS. 28A-28C illustrate a first spherical head of the embodiment of FIGS. 27A-27C;
  • FIGS. 29A-29C illustrate a second spherical head of the embodiment of FIGS. 27A-27C;
  • FIGS. 30A-30B illustrate the articulation housing assembly of the embodiment of FIGS. 27A-27C in greater detail; and
  • FIG. 31 illustrates a perspective view of the embodiment of FIGS. 27A-27C.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • With references to the FIGS., there is illustrated an articulating driver 100 and a ball-in-socket joint 102. As will be described herein, the ball-in-socket joint 102 allows a driver tip 126 or other output shaft to articulate while transmitting input torque from an input shaft 104 to the driver tip 126. The input torque turns e.g., a screw or other component being driven by the articulating driver 100. The articulating driver 100 may be a jointed awl, screw driver or drill.
  • As shown in FIGS. 1A-1C, the articulating driver 100 consists of the input shaft 104 that, at a first end 106, connects to a handle (not shown) and at a second end 108 connects to an articulation housing assembly 110 that forms an outer portion of the ball-in-socket joint 102. The input shaft 104 may be any type of shaft capable of transmitting input torque from the handle or a power tool to which the input shaft 104 is attached. At the second end 108 of the input shaft 104, a cavity 114 is defined that accepts a spring 116 or the cavity walls are composed of a spring. One end of the spring 116 is received within the cavity 114, and the other end of the spring 116 is received within a recess 118 of a retention cap 120, which is shown in greater detail in FIG. 2. As will be described later, the spring 116 provides positional retention of the driver tip 126. The retention cap 120 transmits force from the spring 116 to a spherical head 124 of the driver tip 126 that is secured between the retention cap 120 and a tapered inner surface 130 of the articulation housing assembly 110. As shown in FIG. 2, a domed surface 122 may be defined at an end of the retention cap 120 opposite the recess 118 to receive the spherical head 124.
  • As shown in FIG. 1C, the articulation housing assembly 110 receives the second end 108 of the input shaft 104, the spring 116, the retention cap 120, and the spherical head 124 of the driver tip 126. As shown in FIG. 4, the articulation housing assembly 110 defines holes 136 within which pins 134 a, 134 b and 134 c are pressed. The pins 134 a, 134 b and 134 c are received within grooves 128 a, 128 b and 128 c of the spherical head 124 (see, FIGS. 3A-3D). Through the cooperation of the pins 134 a, 134 b and 134 c and the grooves 128 a, 128 b and 128 c, the spherical head 124 transmits torque to an attachment that is received within a bushing 132 (see, FIG. 1A). The bushing 132 provides positional retention of the attachment and may be made from Polyether ether ketone (PEEK) or an appropriate plastic or metal.
  • In accordance with aspects of the present disclosure, the domed surface 122 of the retention cap 120 and the tapered inner surface 130 of the articulation housing assembly 110 may each have a radius that is similar to, and designed to interface with the spherical head 124 head of the driver tip 126. These radii allow the driver tip 126 to articulate within the articulation housing assembly 110, while retaining the spherical head 124 within the articulation housing assembly 110. Thus, the interaction of the spring 116 pressing on the retention cap 120, which mates to the spherical head 124, and the tapered inner surface 130 of the articulation housing assembly 110 serve to positionally retain the driver tip 126 within the articulation housing assembly 110.
  • FIGS. 3A-3D illustrate the spherical head 124 and the driver tip 126 in greater detail. As shown in FIG. 3A, the grooves 128 a, 128 b and 128 c form a generally ovular shape on the surface of the spherical head 124, and are wider near the diameter and taper moving toward the circumference. The grooves 128 a, 128 b and 128 c are formed having generally having a W-shape cross-section (see, FIG. 3D) within spherical head 124. In some implementations, the grooves 128 a, 128 b and 128 c may be milled into spherical head portion at offsets of 120°. As shown in FIG. 3C, the grooves may extend over an approximately 120° arc across the surface of the spherical head 124. Thus, it can be appreciated that the shape of the grooves 128 a, 128 b and 128 c maybe any shape such that the grooves cooperate with the pins 134 a, 134 b and 134 c provide approximately 45-50° of angulation of the driver tip 126 with respect to the input shaft 104 over a 360° rotation.
  • During assembly, the input shaft 104 is pressed in the articulation housing assembly 110 and cross-pinned to the articulation housing assembly 110 using a pin 112. The pin 112 may be pressed-in and retained by an interference fit with the shaft 104; the pin 112 may be welded in place, or may be threaded into the shaft 104 or retained within a further sleeve used to prevent pins 112, 134 a-134 c from backing out. Other attachment mechanisms may be used in place of the pin 112.
  • The various components above may be made from stainless steel, titanium, titanium alloy, ceramic, etc. The retention cap 120 may be fabricated from PEEK, stainless steel, polyethylene, or any metallic or polymetric material. The retention cap 120 may also include a TiN coating to limit wear and galling on the spherical head 124.
  • In some implementations, the various components of the driver 100 may have the following dimensions. The radius of curvature of the domed surface 122 may be approximately 3.6 mm and may have a depth of 1.8 mm. The spherical head 124 portion may have a diameter approximately 6.5 mm. The recess 118 may have a depth of 1.5 mm to receive a portion of the spring 116. The retention cap 120 may have a total height of 3.0 mm. The articulation housing assembly may have a length of 15 mm and the tapered inner surface may begin 1.6 mm from the edge of the housing assembly. The inner diameter of the articulation housing assembly may be 7.1 mm. The cavity defined in the second end of the input shaft may have a depth of 3.5 mm.
  • During operation, as the user rotates the input shaft 104, torque is transmitted to the articulation housing assembly 110 via the press-fit and the pin 112. This torque is then transmitted from the articulation housing assembly 110 to the driver tip via action of the pins 134 a, 134 b and 134 c are received within the grooves 128 a, 128 b and 128 c of the spherical head 124 of the driver tip 126. The driver tip 126 then transmits the torque to the attachment to turn, e.g., screws for insertion into bone.
  • Thus, the ball-in-socket joint 102 of the present disclosure can be positioned stabily in a multi-angle screwing/unscrewing operation. In particular, because the ball-in-socket joint 102 provides for approximately 45-50° of angulation, the driver 100 maintains the driver tip 126 within a useful range of operation.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 5-8, the engagement of a screw with the articulating driver 100 will be described. As shown in detail in exploded view of FIG. 5, a bushing 232 includes inner threads 506 disposed at a distal end thereof and inner threads 508 disposed at the proximal end thereof. The diameter of the inner threads 506 and inner threads 508 have a dimension that is complementary with an outer threaded portion 514 of the screw 502 and a threaded region 510 of the driver tip 126, respectively. The pitches of the inner threads 506 and outer threaded portion 514, and inner threads 508 and a threaded region 510 may be respectively optimized to match. The outer threaded portion 514 may be a conical thread or a straight thread. In some implementations, the diameter of the inner threads 506 may be larger than the inner threads 508 to allow the inner threads 506 to pass over the threaded region 510, as will be described below. In some implementations, the diameter of the inner threads 506 and the outer threads 508 may be the same.
  • The bushing further includes a stop region 516, which cooperates with an aiming device or guide to halt forward progress of the bushing 232 within the aiming device when the screw 502 is driven by the articulating driver 100. Further details of the interaction of the stop region 516 and the aiming device will be described below with reference to FIGS. 9-12. Also as shown, the driver tip 126 includes at a distal end thereof a screw interface 512 that is adapted to engage a complementary recess defined within the head the screw 502. The screw interface 512 and complementary recess may be star-shaped, hexagonal, square, a polygonal shape, etc.
  • The operational engagement of the bushing 232, the driver tip 126 and the screw 502 will now be described. FIG. 5 illustrates the components in a separated state, where initially, the bushing 232 is placed over the screw interface 512 to engage the inner threads 508 with the threaded region 510. The bushing 232 is rotated in, e.g., a clockwise direction such that the inner threads 508 mesh with the threaded region 510 to advance the bushing in the proximal direction. As shown in FIG. 6, the bushing 232 may be moved in the proximal direction such that the inner threads 506 pass over the threaded region 510, as the diameter of the inner threads 506 may be larger than the threaded region 510. In implementations where the diameter of the inner threads 506 is equal to inner threads 508, the inner threads may engage the threaded region 510. As such, an intermediate state of engagement is achieved (shown in FIG. 6) where the screw interface 512 and a portion of the threaded region 510 protrude through the distal end of the bushing 232. Thus, the screw interface 512 is positioned such that it can be received within a complementary recess in the head of the screw 502.
  • Next, as shown in FIG. 7, the screw 502 is brought into proximity with the screw interface 512 such that the interface may engage the head of the screw 502. An operator may then rotate the bushing 232 in e.g., the counterclockwise direction to cause the inner threads 508 to mesh with the threaded region 510, thus moving the bushing 232 in the distal direction.
  • As shown in fully engaged view of FIG. 8, the bushing 232 is moved distally until the inner threads 506 engage the threaded portion 514 of the screw 502. The engagement of the inner threads 506 and the threaded portion 514 serves to retain the screw 502 within the bushing 232. Thus, FIG. 8 illustrates the screw 502 when loaded into the articulating driver 100 and ready to be driven into an associated plate or portion of bone.
  • With reference to FIGS. 9-12, the operation of the articulating driver 100 to drive the screw 502 into an associated plate or portion of bone will now be described. As shown in FIGS. 9-12, an aiming device or guide 600 may be used to guide the screw 502. The aiming device 600 includes a plurality of aiming holes 604, each having a pin 602 that protrudes through an inner wall thereof at a distal end. An operator may drive the screw 502 into, e.g., bone, by inserting the screw 502 into an appropriate one of the aiming holes 604. The screw 502 will pass through the aiming hole 604 and out of the aiming device 600. However, the aiming device 600 is sized such that the bushing 232 remains rotably positioned within a proximal portion of the aiming hole 604 (see, e.g., FIG. 10). As the operator drives the screw 502 using the driver 100, the screw 502 and bushing 232 will rotate and move distally within the aiming hole 604 as the screw 502 engages the plate or bone.
  • As shown in FIG. 11, the distal movement will cause the stop region 516 of the bushing 232 to engage the pin 602. As illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 11, the stop region 516 may be formed having a jagged or zig-zag edge, such that the pin 602 is caught within a vertex 516 a formed by the edge. Engagement of the stop region 516 with the pin 602 will cause the bushing 232 to cease rotational and longitudinal movement (i.e., it will be stopped within the aiming hole 604). It is noted that other designs may be used to stop the advancement of the bushing 232 within the aiming hole 604 (e.g., frictional engagement).
  • After the bushing 232 is stopped, the application of torque to the driver tip 126 will continue to rotate the screw 502 within the bushing 232. Thus, the screw 502 will continue to be driven in the distal direction along the longitudinal axis of the driver tip 126. As shown in FIG. 12, continuing to drive the screw 502 will rotate the threaded region 514 within the inner threads 506, causing the threaded region 514 to progress out of the distal end of the bushing 232. As such, the screw 502 advances from the bushing 232 and will be released from the driver 100. Operation of the articulating driver 100 may continue in order to drive the screw 502 into its final position through the continued engagement of the screw interface 512 with the head of the screw 502. Once the screw 502 reaches its final position, the articulating driver 100 may be withdrawn from the aiming device or guide 600.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 13-20, the engagement of a screw with the articulating driver 100 will be described in accordance with another implementation. Many of the details of the articulating driver 100 of this implementation are the same as the that described with reference to FIGS. 1-12; however, as shown in detail in FIGS. 13 and 14, a bushing 732 includes inner threads 706 (FIG. 14) disposed at a distal end thereof and inner threads 708 disposed at the proximal end thereof. The diameter of the inner threads 706 and inner threads 708 have a dimension that is complementary with an outer threaded portion 514 of the screw 502 and a threaded region 510 of the driver tip 126, respectively. The pitches of the inner threads 706 and outer threaded portion 514, and inner threads 708 and a threaded region 510 may be respectively optimized to match. The outer threaded portion 514 may be a conical thread or a straight thread. In some implementations, the diameter of the inner threads 706 may be larger than the inner threads 708 to allow the inner threads 706 to pass over the threaded region 510, as will be described below. In some implementations, the diameter of the inner threads 706 and the outer threads 708 may be the same.
  • The bushing 732 further includes lobes 734, which cooperate with an aiming device or guide to halt forward progress of the bushing 732 within the aiming device when the screw 502 is driven by the articulating driver 100. The cooperation of the lobes 734 with the aiming device is described below in more detail with reference to FIGS. 17-20. The lobes 734 may be formed such that they extend outwardly from the circumference of the bushing 732. Three or four lobes 734 may be provided at the proximal end of the bushing 732; however any number of lobes may be provided.
  • The operational engagement of the bushing 732, the driver tip 126 and the screw 502 will now be described. FIG. 14 illustrates the components in a separated state, where initially, the bushing 732 is placed over the screw interface 512 to engage the inner threads 508 with the threaded region 510. The bushing 732 is rotated in, e.g., a clockwise direction such that the inner threads 508 mesh with the threaded region 510 to advance the bushing in the proximal direction. As shown in FIG. 15, the bushing 732 may be moved in the proximal direction such that the inner threads 506 pass over the threaded region 510, as the diameter of the inner threads 506 may be larger than the threaded region 510. In implementations where the diameter of the inner threads 506 is equal to inner threads 508, the inner threads may engage the threaded region 510. As such, an intermediate state of engagement is achieved (shown in FIG. 15) where the screw interface 512 and a portion of the threaded region 510 protrude through the distal end of the bushing 232. Thus, the screw interface 512 is positioned such that it can be received within a complementary recess in the head of the screw 502.
  • Next, as shown in fully engaged view of FIG. 16, the bushing 732 is moved distally until the inner threads 506 engage the threaded portion 514 of the screw 502. The engagement of the inner threads 506 and the threaded portion 514 serves to retain the screw 502 within the bushing 732. Thus, FIG. 16 illustrates the screw 502 when loaded into the articulating driver 100 and ready to be driven into an associated plate or portion of bone.
  • With reference to FIGS. 17-20, the operation of the articulating driver 100 to drive the screw 502 into an associated plate or portion of bone will now be described. As shown in FIGS. 17-20, an aiming device or guide 800 may be used to guide the screw 502. The aiming device 800 includes a plurality of aiming holes 804, each having circumferential lobes 802 at a proximal end. The circumferential lobes 802 may extend inwardly from a center of each aiming hole 804 and receive the lobes 734 of the bushing 732. An operator may drive the screw 502 into, e.g., bone, by inserting the screw 502 into an appropriate one of the aiming holes 804. The screw 502 will pass through the aiming hole 804 and out of the aiming device 800. However, the aiming device 800 is sized such that the bushing 732 remains rotably positioned within a proximal portion of the aiming hole 804 (see, e.g., FIG. 18). As the operator drives the screw 502 using the driver 100, the screw 502 and bushing 732 will rotate and move distally within the aiming hole 804 as the screw 502 engages the plate or bone.
  • As shown in FIG. 19, the distal movement will cause the lobes 734 of the bushing 732 to be received within the lobes 802. As illustrated in FIGS. 13 and 17, the lobes 734 and the lobes 802 may be formed having complementary shapes such that the lobes 734 are received with the complementary shaped lobes 802. Engagement of the lobes 734 and lobes 802 will cause the bushing 732 to cease rotational and longitudinal movement (i.e., it will be stopped within the aiming hole 804).
  • After the bushing 732 is stopped, the application of torque to the driver tip 126 will continue to rotate the screw 502 within the bushing 732. Thus, the screw 502 will continue to be driving in the distal direction along the longitudinal axis of the driver 100. As shown in FIG. 20, continuing to drive the screw 502 will rotate the threaded region 514 within the inner threads 506, causing the threaded region 514 to progress out of the distal end of the bushing 732. As such, the screw 502 advances from the bushing 732 and will be released from the driver 100. Operation of the articulating driver 100 may continue in order to drive the screw 502 into its final position through the continued engagement of the screw interface 512 with the head of the screw 502. Once the screw 502 reaches its final position, the articulating driver 100 may be withdrawn from the aiming device or guide 800.
  • FIGS. 21-25 illustrate another embodiment of an articulating driver 1300 of the present disclosure. As shown, the articulating driver 1300 may include three components, a central screwdriver (FIG. 21), a central sleeve (FIG. 22) and an outer, slip sleeve (FIG. 23). The central screwdriver 1301 may be a straight or jointed driver. As illustrated in FIGS. 24A and 24B, the central screwdriver may be a jointed driver which is composed of a proximal shaft 1301 which has an interface 1301 a that is adapted to provide a connection to, e.g., a handle for applying torque. The central screwdriver may include a jointed feature (e.g., a universal joint 1308) and a distal portion containing the screw interface 1306 a (e.g., a self retaining star-drive). Alternatively, the joint mechanism 1308 may accomplished by beam coupling, spring coupling, jaw coupling, etc. Alternatively, the screw interface 1306 a may have a hexagonal, square, polygonal shape, etc. The central screwdriver may include a distal tip 1306 that at a proximal end thereof, includes a circumferential groove 1313 to allow for retention of the central sleeve.
  • Referring now to FIG. 22, the central sleeve may include a mechanism 1302 to retain the central sleeve on the central screwdriver of FIG. 21. For example, the mechanism 1302 may be a spring-loaded quick coupling with detents for retention on the circumferential groove of the central screwdriver. Between the proximal end and the distal tip, there is a helical structure 1304 that may be provided to allow for bending of the jointed segment 1308 when the central sleeve is assembled. The nature of the helical structure 1034 allows it to act as a spring and hence bend with the joint segment 1038. The helical structure 1304 may be manufactured from a single solid tube with the central sleeve or may be bonded to the proximal and distal portion as a separate element. The later alternative would enable the use of any material that would be appropriate for the helical structure 1304. Such materials could be, but are not limited to, Nitinol, spring steel, certain grades of stainless steel or any other material which offers appropriate elasticity/memory. An additional benefit of the helical structure 1304 and its associated memory is that it prevents the loosening of jointed instruments, which is often encountered when there is repeated use of jointed instruments with universal joints.
  • At the distal tip of the central sleeve, a distal portion 1305 is providing having an outer diameter and length so as to have an appropriate interface with an aiming device or guide (e.g., 600) which may be used in association with the driver. An internal thread at the distal tip 1309 (FIG. 25) may engage the screw which would have to have either a straight or conical thread on the external surface of its head. The pitch of this internal thread would be optimized to match that of the thread on the screw.
  • To assemble the screw to the driver, the screw interface 1306 a may protrude slightly out of the tip of the central sleeve. The screw would engage the screw interface 1306 a of the driver, which may be a self-retaining interface. Then, using the retention mechanism 1032 of the central sleeve to act also as a turning knob, the central sleeve is turned such that the internal thread 1309 engages the external thread of the screw head. In turning this central sleeve, one or both of the following may occur, the screw is pulled further onto the screw driver interface 1306 a or the helical structure 1304 elongates as the internal thread advances 1309 over the screw head. The screw is then rigidly fixed to the screwdriver via the threaded connection to the central sleeve and the connection of the central sleeve to the central driver. The screw is also connected to the central driver via the screw interface 1306 a which allows for torque transmission and screw placement.
  • As the operator advances the screw, there may be a tendency to hold the length of the driver for guidance. If this holding occurs on the central sleeve, it may result in early disengagement of the screw from the central sleeve as the central sleeve would remain stationary relative to a rotating screw driver and screw. In order to prevent this from occurring, an outer slip sleeve 1311 may be positioned on the outside of the central sleeve. This slip sleeve 1311 may freely rotate about the central sleeve due to a non rigid connection 1310. This connection 1310 allows for rotation, but restricts translation. In addition, at the distal end of the slip sleeve, there is located a flexible plastic sleeve 1312 that covers the helical portion from entangling surrounding tissue.
  • As the screw nears its final position, the thread on its head engages an associated plate or portion of bone. However, in the insertion position, this head is covered by the central sleeve. Here, the user knows when to disengage the central sleeve. An alternative method involves the placement of toothed features 1307 on the distal portion of the central sleeve, which when approaching the final position, will engage into a counter-feature or the bone and will result in fixing the central sleeve from rotating with the central driver. Further rotation of the central driver will result in automatic disengagement of the screw from the central sleeve. The helical structure will allow the central sleeve can collapse with the advancement while the screwdriver-screw interface remains for optimum torque transmission. Once, the screw has been tightened into place, it will be no longer be connected to the driver itself and the driver is free to be removed.
  • In some implementations, in order to prevent deformation of the helical structure through over tightening of the central sleeve onto the screw, the helical structure may spiral in the opposite direction of the thread (i.e., counter-clockwise helical structure is provided for a clockwise thread). Therefore, over tightening will result in the helical structure collapsing onto the inner screwdriver and hence preventing it from deforming outward.
  • FIG. 26 illustrates another embodiment that uses an external thread on the central sleeve which would mate to a corresponding internal thread on the screw. Such a configuration may be used with variable angle screws or pedicle screws, and screws with locking threads.
  • In yet another embodiment, the design of FIGS. 21-25 may omit the toothed feature 1307. Turning of the screw with the head covered will result in engagement of the central sleeve onto the aiming device. Subsequent turning of the screw after this condition is achieved will result in lagging of the plate to the bone into which the screw is purchased or vice-versa.
  • FIGS. 27-31 illustrate another embodiment of a joint 2702 of the articulating driver of the present disclosure. As shown in FIGS. 27A-27C, the articulating driver 2700 consists of an input shaft 2704 that, at a first end 2706, connects to a handle (not shown) and has a first spherical head 2708. The first spherical head 2708 is secured within an articulation housing assembly 2710 by a first pin 2712 that passes through a cavity 2709. The input shaft 2704 may be any type of shaft capable of transmitting input torque from the handle or a power tool to which the input shaft 2704 is attached. A second spherical head 2724 is formed at a proximal end of a driver tip 2726 and is secured to the articulation housing assembly 2710 by a second pin 2734 that passes through a cavity 2729. When secured within the articulation housing assembly 2710, a ball 2718 formed at the distal end of the first spherical head 2708 is received within a socket 2722 that is defined within a proximal end of the second spherical head 2724, the interaction of the various components is described further with reference to FIG. 31.
  • As shown in FIG. 27C, enclosed within the articulation housing assembly 2710 is the first spherical head 2708 of the input shaft 2704, a first washer 2712, a spring 2716, a second washer 2720, and spherical head 2724 of the driver tip 2726. The spring 2716 is disposed between a first washer 2714 and a second washer 2720. The first washer 2714 has a tapered edge that abuts the first spherical head 2708 and the second washer 2720 has a tapered edge that abuts the second spherical head 2734. The spring 2716 exerts an expansion force on both the first washer 2714 and the second washer 2720 to frictionally positionally retain the first spherical head 2708 and the second spherical head 2734 within the housing assembly 2710 a user-set angulation. The proximal and distal openings of the articulation housing assembly 2710 each have a chamfered edge 2711 and 2730, respectively, that are adapted to abut a first base 2705 and a second base 2727 to act as a stop to limit the total angulation of the joint 2702, as described below.
  • FIGS. 28A-28C illustrate the first spherical head 2708 in greater detail. As shown in FIG. 28A, the cavity 2709 forms a generally ovular opening 2717 on a surface of the fist spherical head 2708 (a bottom opening is not shown in the FIGS.). In some implementations, the cavity 2709 may be milled into first spherical head 2708 having a generally “bow-tie” shape. As shown in the cross-sectional view of FIG. 28C, the cavity 2709 may be formed such the opening 2717 extends having an approximately 22° arc in each direction with respect to a center axis of the cavity 2709 (providing a total arc of approximately 44° across the surface of the first spherical head 2708). The “bow-tie” shaped of the cavity 2709 enables the first spherical head 2708 to be angulated with respect to the first pin 2712 passing therethrough, which can be appreciated is positioned along the center axis of the cavity 2709 shown in FIG. 28C when the first spherical head 2708 is assembled into the joint 2702.
  • FIGS. 29A-29C illustrate the second spherical head 2724 in greater detail. As shown in FIG. 29A, the cavity 2725 forms a generally ovular opening 2728 on the surface of the second spherical head 2724 (a bottom opening is not shown of the FIGS.). In some implementations, the cavity 2725 may be milled into second spherical head 2724 having a “bow-tie” shape similar to the cavity 2709. As shown in the cross-sectional view of FIG. 29C, the cavity 2725 may be formed such the opening 2728 extends in a 22° arc in each direction with respect to a center axis of the cavity 2725. Thus, similar to the cavity 2709, the “bow-tie” shaped cavity 2725 enables the second spherical head 2724 to be angulated with respect to the second pin 2734, which can be appreciated is positioned along the center axis of the cavity 2725 shown in FIG. 29C when the second spherical head is assembled into the joint 2702.
  • As shown in FIG. 30A-30B, the articulation housing assembly 2710 defines holes 2736 into which the first pin 2712 and the second pin 2734 may be pressed. Openings 2740 are provided to enable easy cleaning of the interior of the articulating housing assembly 2710. FIG. 30B illustrates the chamfered edges 2711 and 2730 of the proximal and distal openings of the articulation housing assembly 2710. Each edge may be formed having approximately a 20° angle with respect to the longitudinal axis of the articulation housing assembly 2710. The chamfered edges 2711 and 2730 may abut the first base 2705 and the second base 2727 to limit the total angulation at approximately 40°.
  • FIG. 31 illustrates a perspective view of the assembled joint 1702. To assemble the joint 1702, the input shaft 2704 is inserted into the articulation housing assembly 2710 and pinned to the articulation housing assembly 2710 by the first pin 2712. The first washer 2712, the spring 2716 and the second washer 2720 are then placed within the articulation housing assembly 2710. The driver tip 2726 is inserted into the articulation housing assembly 2710 and pinned by the second pin 2734. The pins 2712 and 2734 may be pressed-in and retained by an interference fit with the articulating housing 2710; the pins 2712 and 2734 may be welded in place, or may be threaded into articulating housing 2710. Other attachment mechanisms may be used in place of the pins 2712 and 2734.
  • The various components above may be made from stainless steel, titanium, titanium alloy, ceramic, etc. The first washer 2712 and the second washer 2720 may be made from PEEK. The spring 2716 may be any spring having a spring constant to exert a sufficient force on the first washer 2712 and the second washer 2720 to provide the aforementioned positional retention of the first spherical head 2708 and the second spherical head 2724 within the articulating housing 2710.
  • During use, a user can initially position the input shaft 2704 and the driver tip 2726 by angulating the input shaft 2704 and the driver tip 2726 to a desired total angulation. The approximately 22° of angulation of the first spherical head 2708 and the approximately 22° of angulation of the second spherical head 2724 may provide for a total angulation of approximately 44° of the driver tip 2726 with respect to the input shaft 2704. However, as noted above, the total angulation may be limited to approximately 40° by the interaction of the chamfered edges 2711 and 2730 and the first base 2705 and the second base 2727. The angulation may be maintained throughout a 360° rotation of the input shaft 2704 and driver tip 2726 by the positional retention provided by the interaction of the spring 2716, the first washer 2714 and the second washer 2720 and the constant velocity provided by the ball 2718 and the socket 2722.
  • As the user rotates the input shaft 2704, torque is transmitted to the articulation housing assembly 2710 via the interaction of the first pin 2712 within the cavity 2709 of the first spherical head 2708. This torque is then transmitted from the articulation housing assembly 2710 to the driver tip via action of the second pin 2734 within the cavity 2725 of the second spherical head 2724 of the driver tip 2726. The driver tip 2726 then transmits the torque to the attachment to turn, e.g., screws for insertion into bone.
  • Although the subject matter has been described in language specific to structural features and/or methodological acts, it is to be understood that the subject matter defined in the appended claims is not necessarily limited to the specific features or acts described above. Rather, the specific features and acts described above are disclosed as example forms of implementing the claims.

Claims (30)

    What is claimed:
  1. 1. A driver having a ball-in-socket joint, comprising:
    a driver tip having a spherical head;
    a retention cap having a domed surface to mate with the spherical head;
    an input shaft;
    a spring disposed in an end of the input shaft and in a recess of the retention cap opposite that of the domed surface; and
    a housing that receives the input shaft, the spring, the retention cap and the spherical head,
    wherein the housing has a tapered end to positionally retain the spherical head therein.
  2. 2. The driver of claim 1, wherein the spherical head has a plurality of grooves defined in a surface thereof, wherein the housing defines a plurality of holes, and wherein each of the holes receives a pin that passes through the housing and is received within a respective groove of the spherical head.
  3. 3. The driver of claim 2, wherein torque applied at the input shaft is transmitted to the housing and to the driver tip by action of the pins within the grooves of the spherical head.
  4. 4. The driver of claim 2, wherein the plurality grooves have a shape to provide for up to 50° of angulation of the driver tip with respect to the input shaft over a 360° rotation of the input shaft.
  5. 5. The driver of claim 4, wherein the grooves have a generally ovular shape and a W-shape cross-section within spherical head.
  6. 6. The driver of claim 2, wherein the grooves are positioned within spherical head at offsets of approximately 120°.
  7. 7. The driver of claim 2, wherein the grooves extend over an approximately 120° arc across a face of the spherical head.
  8. 8. The driver of claim 1, wherein the spring exerts a force on the retention cap to positionally retain the spherical head within the housing.
  9. 9. A ball-in-socket joint, comprising:
    an input shaft;
    an output shaft having a spherical head, the spherical head having a plurality of grooves defined therein;
    a retention cap having a domed surface to mate with the spherical head;
    a spring disposed in an end of the input shaft and in a recess of the retention cap opposite that of the domed surface; and
    a housing the defines a plurality of holes, the housing receiving the input shaft, the spring, the retention cap and the spherical head,
    wherein the housing positionally retains the spherical head therein, wherein each of the holes receives a pin that passes through the housing and is received within a respective groove of the spherical head.
  10. 10. The ball-in-socket joint of claim 9, wherein torque applied at the input shaft is transmitted to the housing and to a driver tip associated with the output shaft by action of the pins within the grooves of the spherical head.
  11. 11. The ball-in-socket joint of claim 9, the housing further comprising a tapered end, wherein the domed surface and tapered end each have a radius of curvature that is approximately equal to a radius of the spherical head, and wherein the tapered end and the domed surface positionally retain the spherical head within the housing.
  12. 12. A driver, comprising:
    an input shaft adapted to transmit torque;
    a driver tip coupled to the input shaft, the driver tip including an interface defined at an end thereof adapted to engage a screw; and
    a bushing that engages the driver tip at one end and receives the screw at the other end,
    wherein the screw is received within the bushing and engages the interface, and
    wherein the input shaft is adapted to apply torque to the screw through the interface and to apply torque to the bushing by the engagement of the bushing with the driver tip.
  13. 13. The driver of claim 12, wherein the bushing includes inner threads disposed at a distal end thereof and inner threads disposed at a proximal end thereof.
  14. 14. The driver of claim 13, wherein the driver tip further comprises a threaded region that engages the inner threads disposed at the proximal end of the bushing.
  15. 15. The driver of claim 14, wherein the inner threads at the distal end of the bushing are adapted to pass over the threaded region of the driver tip.
  16. 16. The driver of claim 13, wherein the screw further comprise an outer threaded portion on an external surface of a head of the screw, the outer threaded portion adapted to engage the inner threads disposed at the distal end of the bushing.
  17. 17. The driver of claim 12, the bushing further comprising a stop region, wherein the stop region cooperates with an aiming device to hold the bushing within the aiming device as torque is transmitted to the screw and the bushing.
  18. 18. The driver of claim 17, wherein when torque continues to be applied to the screw after the bushing is held within the aiming device, the screw releases from the bushing.
  19. 19. The driver of claim 17, wherein the stop region is formed having a zig-zag shaped edge, and wherein the forward progress of the bushing is halted by an interaction of a pin of the aiming device with a vertex formed by the zig-zag shaped edge.
  20. 20. The driver of claim 17, wherein the stop region comprises a plurality of lobes that extend outward from a center of the bushing, and wherein the forward progress of the bushing is halted by an interaction of a plurality of complementary lobes that extend inwardly from a center of an aiming hole of the aiming device.
  21. 21. A driver having a double-wobble joint, comprising:
    an input shaft having a first spherical head that includes a distal ball;
    a driver tip having a second spherical head that includes a proximal socket that is adapted to receive the distal ball;
    a housing that receives the input shaft and the driver tip; and
    a spring disposed between a first washer and a second washer in the housing, the first washer being disposed between a proximal end of the spring and the first spherical head, and the second washer being disposed between a distal end of the spring and the second spherical head, the spring providing an urging force on the first washer and the second washer within to positionally retain the first spherical head and the second spherical head within the housing.
  22. 22. The driver of claim 21, wherein the first spherical head defines a first cavity and the second spherical head defines a second cavity, wherein a first pin is disposed within the first cavity to secure the first spherical head to the housing, and wherein a second pin is disposed within the second cavity to secure the second spherical head to the housing.
  23. 23. The driver of claim 22, wherein the cavity is formed having a generally bow-tie shape.
  24. 24. The driver of claim 22, wherein the first cavity extends through first spherical head to form an upper opening and a lower opening on a surface of the first spherical head, and wherein the second cavity extends through second spherical head to form an upper opening and a lower opening on a surface of the second spherical head.
  25. 25. The driver of claim 24, wherein the upper opening and the lower of the first spherical head and the upper opening and the lower of the second spherical head each extend across an arc of approximately a 44° across a surface of the first spherical head and the second spherical head, respectively.
  26. 26. The driver of claim 22, wherein torque applied at the input shaft is transmitted to the housing and to the driver tip by action of the first pin within the first cavity and the second pin within the second cavity.
  27. 27. The driver of claim 22, wherein the first cavity and the second cavity provide approximately 44° of angulation of the driver tip with respect to the input shaft over a 360° rotation of the input shaft.
  28. 28. The driver of claim 27, wherein the housing defines chamfered edges at a proximal opening and a distal opening, wherein the driver tip and the input shaft each define a base that is adapted to contact the chamfered edges to limit the angulation of the driver.
  29. 29. The driver of claim 28, wherein the limit of the angulation is approximately 40°.
  30. 30. The driver of claim 21, wherein an interaction of the distal ball within the socket provides for a constant velocity in the double-wobble joint.
US13547540 2012-07-12 2012-07-12 Torque transmitting ball joint driver having a rigid fixation mechanism Pending US20140018816A1 (en)

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US13547540 US20140018816A1 (en) 2012-07-12 2012-07-12 Torque transmitting ball joint driver having a rigid fixation mechanism
PCT/US2013/050338 WO2014012035A3 (en) 2012-07-12 2013-07-12 Torque transmitting ball joint driver having a rigid fixation mechanism
EP20130740171 EP2872060B1 (en) 2012-07-12 2013-07-12 Torque transmitting ball joint driver having a rigid fixation mechanism

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Also Published As

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WO2014012035A9 (en) 2014-06-05 application
EP2872060B1 (en) 2017-08-23 grant
EP2872060A2 (en) 2015-05-20 application
WO2014012035A2 (en) 2014-01-16 application
WO2014012035A3 (en) 2014-07-24 application

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