How good are humans at performing manual surgery? Major surgical errors must be reported and there has been research into the attitudes of surgeons in how they report such errors.
But there is no requirement or legislation in place to report minor unintentional damage, and how that is even defined is a grey area.
Very little research exists into the frequency of unintentional surgical damage, the challenges that cause this damage, or understanding of the long-term effects.
We are developing semi-autonomous robotic tools to help surgeons, especially for knee surgery. It’s estimated that around 4 million knee arthroscopies are performed each year worldwide.
In our recent study, some surgeons said they found that such knee procedures could be physically challenging and could cause unintentional damage to their patients.
But a majority said they would be prepared to use robotic tools if they could be shown to help in the surgery and reduce the risks of injury to patients.