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1. WO2021146677 - ARTICULATING SHAFT OF A SURGICAL DEVICE

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[ EN ]

I claim:

1. A surgical instrument comprising:

a handle; and

an elongate shaft assembly extending distally from the handle and defining a longitudinal axis, the elongated shaft assembly configured to articulate between a fully flexed configuration and a lesser flexed configuration, the elongated shaft assembly comprising:

a tubular member including a flexible portion with a first preferential bending direction;

an elongate member coaxially disposed within the tubular member and directly coupled to the tubular member at a location distal the flexible portion;

wherein the flexible portion is defined by a plurality of cutouts, each cutout defining a cutout longitudinal axis, and wherein each cutout includes a tapered portion defined by a proximal linear edge and a distal linear edge; and wherein at least one of the plurality of cutouts define an asymmetrical shape about the cutout longitudinal axis, the asymmetric shape configured to increase a circumferential length of contact between a corresponding proximal and distal linear edge when the flexible portion is in the fully flexed configuration.

2. The surgical instrument of claim 1 wherein each of the cutouts have a keyhole shape with a bulbous closed end, the bulbous closed end asymmetrical about the cutout longitudinal axis.

The surgical instrument of claim 1 wherein each of the cutouts have a keyhole shape including a bulbous closed end, the bulbous closed ends defining a proximal concave surface and a distal concave surface, continuous with each other and wherein the distal concave surface defines a tighter radius of curvature than the proximal concave surface.

4. The surgical instrument of claim 3 wherein the bulbous closed end defines a maximum axial length that is less than 50% larger than a maximum axial length of tapered portion when the instrument is in a lesser flexed configuration.

5. The surgical instrument of claim 1 wherein in the fully flexed configuration a corresponding proximal edge and distal edge of each of the plurality of cutouts align with each other to form a continuous inner curved shaft surface, free of terracing.

6. The surgical instrument of claim 1 wherein the cutout asymmetrical shape is configured to rotate the distal edge towards the proximal edge so that they align once engaged.

7. The surgical instrument of claim 3 wherein the plurality of cutouts each define an angular opening when the shaft is in a less articulated configuration, and wherein a distal-most cutout of the plurality of cutouts has a smaller angular opening than all of the remaining plurality of radial cutouts.

8. A surgical instrument comprising:

a handle; and

an elongate shaft assembly extending distally from the handle, the elongated shaft assembly comprising:

a tubular member including an articulable portion defined by at least one cutout;

an elongate member coaxially located along the tubular member and coupled to the tubular member at a position distal from the articulable portion, the elongate member configured to flex the articulable portion to axially offset a distal end of the tubular member relative to a proximal end of the elongate shaft; and

wherein the at least one cutout defines a longitudinal axis transverse a shaft longitudinal axis, wherein the at least one cutout defines an asymmetrical shape about the cutout longitudinal axis, the asymmetrical shape configured to increase a length of circumferential contact between a proximal and distal circumferential edge of each cutout when the distal end is flexed at a maximum offset angle.

9. The surgical instrument of claim 8 wherein the at least one cutout defines a keyhole shape with a bulbous closed end, the bulbous closed end defining a concave proximal surface and a concave distal surface facing the concave proximal surface and different to the concave proximal surface.

10. The surgical instrument of claim 9 wherein the concave proximal surface defines a larger radius of curvature than the concave distal surface.

11. The surgical instrument of claim 9 wherein the asymmetrical shape is configured form a continuous uninterrupted curve along the articulable portion when the distal end is flexed at the maximum offset angle.

12. The surgical instrument of claim 9 wherein the at least one cutout comprises at least two cutouts, each of the at least two cutouts defining an angular opening and wherein when the shaft is in a less flexed configuration, the angular opening of the distal-most cutout of the at least two cutouts has a smaller angular opening than all remaining cutouts.

13. A surgical instrument comprising:

a handle; and

an elongated shaft assembly extending distally from the handle, the elongated shaft assembly comprising:

a tubular member having an articulable portion defined by a plurality of axially spaced radial cutouts through the tubular member;

a sheath coaxial with the tubular member and covering the tubular member including covering the articulable portion; and

a liner disposed between the sheath and tubular member, along the articulable portion, the liner including at least one discontinuity through a thickness of the liner; configured to permit the articulable portion to articulate while concomitantly blocking migration of the sheath into the radial cutouts.

14. The surgical instrument of claim 13 wherein the discontinuity includes a helical cut around and long a portion of the liner.

15. The surgical instrument of claim 13 wherein the discontinuity comprises a helical cut having an axial gap length, the axial gap length configured to increase liner flexibility while concomitantly blocking migration of the sheath into the radial cutouts.

16. The surgical instrument of claim 15 wherein the axial gap length is defined by a single helical cut that is axially extended.

17. The surgical instrument of claim 13 wherein the tubular member is electrically conductive and the sheath is an electrical insulator, configured to limit an exposed electrically conductive outer surface of the tubular member.

18. The surgical instrument of claim 13 wherein the liner is a Nylon sleeve.

19. The surgical instrument of claim 14 wherein substantially each revolution of the helical cut occurs within a respective distance along a length of the articulable portion of at least two of the plurality of radial cutouts.

20. The surgical instrument of claim 14 wherein substantially each revolution of the helical cut occurs within a respective distance along an axial length of the articulable portion so as to cover at least three of the plurality of radial cut outs.