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US5569252: Device for repairing a meniscal tear in a knee and method

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Filing Information

Inventor(s) Daniel F. Justin · Winters, Jr.; Thomas F. ·
Assignee(s) None listed in document.
Attorney/Agent(s) Allen, Dyer, Doppelt, Franjola & Milbrath, P.A. ·
Primary Examiner Guy Tucker ·
Application Number US8312999
Filing date 09/27/1994
Issue date 10/29/1996
Predicted expiration date 09/27/2014
U.S. Classifications 606/73  · 606/77  ·
International Classifications A61B 1768  ·
Kind CodeA
International Classifications 60673;104;72;60;77;76;86;99;213;218;216;96;98 ·
10 Claims, No Drawings


Abstract

A fastener, driving device, and method are provided for repairing a tear in soft tissue of a patient, a particular exemplary embodiment comprising a meniscal tear in a knee. The fastener has a variable-pitch helical protrusion along a central portion that decreases from the distal end to the proximal end, which can serve to bring two sides of the tear into apposition as the fastener is advanced across the two sides of the tear in a screwing motion. The fastener material preferably is a biodegradable, biocompatible, nontoxic plastic that is specifically designed to be biodegradable generally within the time span of the healing process. A delivery device for introducing the fastener is also provided that includes an elongated needle rotationally coupled with the fastener, the turning of which turns the fastener, advancing the fastener into the tissue. The method of repairing the tear entails manipulating the fastener/delivery device system adjacent and normal to the tear axis and driving the fastener across the tear.

Independent Claims | See all claims (10)

  1. 1. A fastener for repairing a tear in soft tissue of a patient, the fastener having:a proximal end;a distal end;a distal portion having a narrowing cross section toward the distal end, wherein in use an insertion of the fastener into soft tissue is facilitated by the narrowed distal end;a unitary and continuous variable-pitch helical protrusion along a central portion between the proximal end and the distal end, wherein the helical pitch along the central portion decreases from the distal end to the proximal end, and wherein in use the decrease in the helical pitch can serve to bring two sides of the tear into apposition as the fastener is advanced across the two sides of the tear in a screwing motion; andan axial bore therethrough generally along the helical axis proceeding from the proximal end to the distal end, the bore having a noncircular cross-sectional shape completely therealong for an elongated driving device having a noncircular cross-sectional shape to pass in to the bore and to protrude from the distal end and to advance the fastener into the soft tissue by being rotated in a direction having a handedness commensurate with the helically shaped protrusion.
  2. 3. A system for repairing a tear in soft tissue of a patient, the system comprising:a fastener having:a proximal end;a distal end;a distal portion having a narrowing cross section toward the distal end, wherein in use an insertion of the fastener into soft tissue is facilitated by the narrowed distal end;a variable-pitch helical protrusion along a central portion between the proximal end and the distal end, wherein the helical pitch along the central portion decreases from the distal end to the proximal end, and wherein in use the decrease in the helical pitch can serve to bring two sides of the tear into apposition as the fastener is advanced across the two sides of the tear in a screwing motion; andan axial bore therethrough generally along the helical axis proceeding from the proximal end to the distal end;an elongated driving device, wherein the driving device comprises:a needle having:a length;a proximal end;a pointed distal tip; anda cross-sectional shape along a distal portion dimensioned axially to pass through the bore of the fastener and rotationally to drive the fastener;wherein in use the needle is axially movable distalward to a first position wherein the needle tip protrudes from the distal end of the fastener, the needle tip piercing the tissue to be repaired preparatory to rotating the needle and hence the fastener;an elongated tubular member for rotationally and axially driving the fastener, the tubular member having:a distal end, matable with the proximal end of the fastener;a proximal end;an noncircular axial bore therethrough from the distal end to the proximal end, at least a portion of which is noncircular, the bore dimensioned to permit the needle to pass therethrough and to be relatively slidable axially, the noncircular portion of the bore dimensioned to be rotatably drivable by the needle; anda length shorter than the needle length, permitting the distal end and the proximal end of the needle to protrude from the distal end and the proximal end, respectively, of the tubular member;means for transducing a rotational movement of the needle into an axial movement of the tubular member; andmeans for rotating the needle connectable to the needle proximal end, such a rotation thereby driving an axial movement of the fastener via the transducing means and further driving a rotational movement of the fastener via the needle;the fastener bore further having a noncircular cross-sectional shape dimensioned to permit the distal portion of the needle to pass into the bore and to permit relative axial sliding and rotational coupling movement therebetween;wherein in use the fastener is mated with the tubular member distal end, the fastener and distal tip of the needle are positioned adjacent the tear, and the rotating means is rotated in a direction having a handedness commensurate with the helically shaped protrusion, thereby advancing the fastener across the tear.
  3. 10.10. A method for repairing a tear in soft tissue of a patient, the method comprising the steps of:providing a fastener having:a proximal end;a distal end;a distal portion having a narrowing cross section toward the distal end, wherein in use an insertion of the fastener into soft tissue is facilitated by the narrowed distal end;a variable-pitch helical protrusion along a central portion between the proximal end and the distal end, wherein the helical pitch along the central portion decreases from the distal end to the proximal end; andan axial bore therethrough generally along the helical axis proceeding from the proximal end to the distal end, the bore having a noncircular cross-sectional shape;providing an elongated needle having:a length:a proximal end;a pointed distal tip; anda cross-sectional shape along a distal portion dimensioned axially to pass through the bore of the fastener and rotationally to drive the fastener;moving the needle axially through the bore of the fastener, the distal tip of the needle emerging from the distal end of the fastener;inserting the fastener into an area of soft tissue adjacent the tear;manipulating the distal end of the fastener to a position generally normal to a long axis of the tear;piercing the tissue to be repaired with the needle tip; anddriving the fastener across the tear in a screwing motion by rotating the needle and hence the fastener, the decrease in the helical pitch serving to bring two sides of the tear into apposition as the fastener is advanced.

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Patent Family

Document NumberAssigneeInventorsIssue/Pub Date
US5569252 Daniel F. Justin et al. Oct 1996
US5730744 Daniel F. Justin et al. Mar 1998