Force Perception Thresholds in Cochlear Implantation Surgery

Kratchman L.B. et al. (2016) Audiology & Neurotology. 21. pp. 244-249

B0003932 Illustration of hands reaching out

Image source: Matthew Herring – Wellcome Images // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Tissue trauma is a frequent complication of cochlear implantation (CI) surgery, but the relationship between intracochlear trauma, electrode insertion forces, and surgeons’ ability to perceive these forces is poorly understood.

In this study, we simulated CI surgery using a benchtop apparatus to repeatedly apply small forces to the subjects’ hands while reducing the variability in their hand movements. We used a psychophysical testing procedure to estimate the force perception thresholds of 10 otologic surgeons and found a median threshold of 20.4 mN.

The results suggest that surgeons have the capability to sense at least some insertion forces and are likely to perceive severe trauma such as occurs when the electrode crosses from one scala to the other.

Read the abstract here

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