The patent's inventors are Simmons,
This patent was filed on
From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "X-ray machines are known devices that allow individuals, such as healthcare practitioners, to capture images, in a relatively non-intrusive manner, of bones, bone density, implanted devices, catheters, pins, and a wide variety of other objects and materials that are within a patient's body. In this regard, the term X-ray may refer to any suitable type of X-ray imaging, including film X-ray shadow grams and X-ray fluoroscopic imaging, which may refer to images that are produced by the conversion of an incident X-ray pattern to a 'live' enhanced or intensified optical image that can be displayed on a video monitor, nearly contemporaneously with the irradiation of the portion of the patient's body that is being imaged.
"Often, when a practitioner takes X-rays of a patient, it is desirable to take several X-rays of one or more portions of the patient's body from a number of different positions and angles, and preferably without needing to frequently reposition the patient. To meet this need, C-arm X-ray diagnostic equipment has been developed. The term C-arm generally refers to an X-ray imaging device having a rigid and/or articulating structural member having an X-ray source and an image detector assembly that are each located at an opposing end of the structural member so that the X-ray source and the image detector face each other. The structural member is typically 'C' shaped and so is referred to as a C-arm. In this manner, X-rays emitted from the X-ray source can impinge on the image detector and provide an X-ray image of the object or objects that are placed between the X-ray source and the image detector.
"In many cases, C-arms are connected to one end of a movable arm. In such cases, the C-arm can often be raised and lowered, be moved from side to side, and/or be rotated about one or more axes of rotation. Accordingly, such C-arms can be moved and reoriented to allow X-ray images to be taken from several different positions and angles and different portions of a patient, without requiring the patient to be frequently repositioned."
Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "This application relates to X-ray positioning devices. In particular, this application discusses systems and methods for making and using sliding, counterbalanced C-arm positioning devices. In such systems and methods, each C-arm positioning device comprises a C-arm X-ray device, a linear bearing rail, a linear bearing block, and a counterbalance mechanism. Generally, the C-arm can be connected (directly or indirectly) to the linear bearing block, which, in turn, can be slidably coupled to the linear bearing rail. In this manner, the linear bearing block can slide up and down the rail to raise and lower the C-arm. The counterbalance mechanism can be configured to apply a force to the linear bearing block to substantially counterbalance the weight of the C-arm and the bearing block. Thus, the described C-arm positioning device can allow a user to easily raise and lower the C-arm with relatively little effort. Additionally, while some implementations of the C-arm positioning device are connected to a mobile support structure, in other implementations, the C-arm positioning device is mounted to a fixed support structure."
For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Simmons,
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