PatientSIM - Development of an Augmented Reality Simulator for Surgical Training of Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty

David Fürst and Andreas Schrempf


Biomechanics, Biomechatronics, Measurement and Instrumentation


Surgical interventions have become more complex over the last years and the number of new surgical technologies is still rising. Surgical simulators represent safe and reliable training environments were novice surgeons can acquire the surgical skills required for new or complex procedures. Augmented reality or hybrid simulators combine the advantage of a detailed visualization with haptic feedback to make complex interventions as realistic as possible. As common treatment options for vertebral compression fractures, which are characterized by high incidence rates, kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty represent such complex interventions. Currently the training for both procedures is performed on cadavers with fluoroscopic guidance which results in two serious problems. First, the need for cadavers and second the radiation exposure limiting the duration of the surgical training. This paper reports the current stage of development of an augmented reality simulator which allows novice surgeons to train kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty without having these two disadvantages. We describe how surgical instruments are modified to allow position and force tracking during insertion into artificial vertebrae, and present a first concept for a processing and visualization unit. Preliminary data provide requirements for manufacturing patient specific vertebral phantoms.

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