Suture needle abstract
A large number of needle patterns are integrally associated with
each other on an extended U-shaped metal plate. After that, a pointed
end of individual needle patterns is formed, and a series of individual
needle patterns are divided into a plurality of segmented needle
bodies. Then, a suture is inserted into a hollow portion of the
needle body. By closing both walls of the needle body, a suture
needle can be produced one after another.
Suture needle claims
What is claimed is:
1. A suture needle structure comprising a suture and curved metal
needle body in which the needle body has a hollowed portion extending
from a back end of the needle body toward a point front end of the
needle body over substantially the entire length of the needle body,
said suture extending into and along substantially the entire length
of the hollow portion and the suture being caulked in the hollow
portion, the needle body comprising a plate surrounding the suture
with opposite lengthwise edges of the plate being in contact substantially
along the entire length of the needle body.
Suture needle description
TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to a suture needle and its manufacturing
processes. More particularly, the suture needle is used for medical
treatment, in which a suture is previously inserted and fixed within
a needle body.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART
Conventionally, there are known two types of suture needles. According
to a first type of suture needle, every time a needle is used, a
suture is hooked in an aperture of a needle body. According to a
second type, the suture is previously fixed in a hole formed at
a front part of the needle body at the manufacturing stage. In the
first type, every time the suture needle is used, sterilization
is required and the suture may be disengaged from the aperture of
the needle body, so that it is an old-fashioned type. Today, the
second type is prevailing in advanced countries. That is, it is
also a disposable type.
[I] FIGS. 8(a) to 8(d) show respective views of a first embodiment
of a conventional suture needle which is frequently used today.
Numeral 1 is a semicircular needle body made of stainless steel,
which comprises a fixing part 2 for fixing a suture 3 at an end
of the needle body 1. As shown in 8(d), the fixing part 2 consists
of a hole 2a formed in an axial direction of the needle body 1.
The suture 3 is inserted into the hole 2a and firmly fixed therein
by caulking means.
According to a conventional process for manufacturing needles,
a stainless steel thin rod is cut off with a suitable length for
a needle body. Then, the hole 2a is bored by laser processing, drilling
or the like. Subsequently, the suture 3 is inserted into the hole
2a manually and fixed therein by caulking means.
The aforesaid prior art has the following disadvantages and inconveniences.
(1) The depth of the hole 2a for inserting the suture 3 therein
is limited in view of boring operation, so that fixation of the
suture in the hole 2a is not always complete. Accordingly, disengagement
of the suture from the hole may occur easily. If caulking stress
is too strong, the needle body 1 may be broken or deformed.
(2) Since the needle body is provided, at one end, with the hole
for inserting the suture, the needle body is inclined to be broken
in the proximity of the hole.
(3) Since the needle body except for the hole portion is of a solid
construction, its resilience is relatively low. Accordingly, there
grows the danger that a pointed end of the needle body may be broken
and retain in a body during sewing operation. Such accident may
cause a serious condition.
(4) After the hole has been bored and the suture has been fixed
therein, it is no more possible to clean the interior of the hole.
Accordingly, it is impossible to wipe away any foreign matter that
may remain in the hole during boring operation.
(5) After the suture has been inserted in the hole, sterilization
must be carried out, but an inserted part of the suture is inconvenient
for a complete sterilization.
(6) The boring operation including laser processing, drilling or
the like requires high accuracy, so that it is a cumbersome work.
It is very difficult to obtain a bore of a very accurate diameter
effective to insert the suture thereinto.
(7) It is also a very cumbersome work even for skilled workers
to insert and fix a soft and thin suture into such a minute hole.
The daily output of such conventional suture needles is so limited
that the production cost is expensive and quality is not always
[II] A second embodiment of the prior art will be described with
reference to FIG. 9(a) to FIG. (10)b, in which every time a suture
is used, it must be engaged with an end of the suture needle.
Symbol B1 is a typical conventional suture needle body followed
by a stainless steel rod, in which B2 is a hole means for inserting
a suture therein and B3 is a pointed end of the suture needle body
FIGS. 9(b), 9(c) and 9(d) show respective section views of the
suture needle body B1 in which FIG. 9(b) is an elliptical section,
FIG. 9(c) is a circular section and FIG. 9(d) is a triangular section.
As shown in FIG. 10(b), the hole means B2 comprises a hole B2a
for engaging with a suture, pair of lugs B2b and a recess B2c thereupon.
The pair of lugs B2b are contacted with each other at their upper
ends and formed integrally at their lower end. Such structure is
suitable for inserting the suture therein.
A process for manufacturing the aforesaid conventional suture needle
comprises the following steps.
(A) Step of cutting off a stainless steel wire so as to conform
to the diameter and length of a desired suture needle.
(B) Step of forming one unit obtained by the above step into a
ellipitcal section by a flattening means.
(C) Step for forming about one third (needle front part) of such
a member into a triangular section, a middle portion thereof into
a circular section and a rear part thereof into an elliptical section.
(D) Step of forming a hole means for inserting into, and engaging
with a suture, in the rear part of such member.
(E) Step of bending the whole of such member in a semicircular
The foresaid conventional technique has the following disadvantages.
(1) The suture needle obtained by the aforesaid process is a solid
body and its diameter is forced to be thick to increase strength.
Such a thick needle causes a patient strong pains.
(2) When such suture needle units are produced continuously, they
must be lined up correctly and then necessary mechanical processings
must be provided. Accordingly, the production cost is high.
(3) If a manual operation will be adopted to avoid the inconvenience
of such a line-up process, the product cost will become much higher
and the quality of finished products becomes unreliable.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
It is therefore a general object of this invention to provide a
suture needle having a high rigidity, and its manufacturing processes
enabling a continuous production.
More specifically, the present invention has the following features.
(1) A suture needle body is of a tubular construction. Namely,
a hollow portion is formed in a substantially overall length of
the needle body, and a suture is inserted and fixed in the hollow
(2) A process for manufacturing a suture needle comprises the following
(a) applying compression for a U-shaped extended metal plate to
increase its rigidity;
(b) forming a nearly triangular cutaway portion recessed on both
walls of said U-shaped metal plate so as to produce a front part
of individual needle pattern;
(c) forming a pointed end of said individual needle pattern by
closing both walls of said front part;
(d) dividing a series of needle patterns combined with each other
at respective pointed ends into a plurality of segmented needle
(e) grinding individual needle bodies;
(f) inserting a suture in a hollow portion of said needle body
of a U-shaped section, closing said both walls of said U-shaped
needle body and inserting and fixing in said hollow portion, thereby
producing a suture needle;
(g) forming said suture needle in a bended form; and
(h) providing said sature needle with a sterilization treatment.
Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent
from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE ACCOMPANYING DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a section view of a suture needle according to this invention,
in which a suture is incorporated in a groove of a needle body.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a condition, in which the suture
is about to be inserted into the groove of the needle body in FIG.
FIG. 3 is a section view of the suture needle in FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a condition, in which a U-shaped
metal plate is transformed into a tubular needle body.
FIGS. 5(a) to 5(d), FIGS. 6(a) to 6(c) and FIGS. 7(a) and 7(b)
are respective views of an embodiment of the suture needle according
to the invention.
FIGS. 8(a) to 8(d) are respective views of an embodiment of a conventional
process for manufacturing a suture needle.
FIGS. 9(a) to 9(d) and FIGS. 10(a) and 10(b) are respective views
of another embodiment of the conventional process for manufacturing
a suture needle.
FIG. 11 FIGS. 12(a) to 12(d), FIGS. 13(a) to 13(c), FIG. 14 and
FIGS. 15(a) and 15(c) are respective views of an embodiment of a
process for manufacturing a suture needle according to the invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
A typical example of a suture needle according to the appended
claims 1 to 3 of the present invention will be described in connection
with FIGS. 1 to 4.
In FIG. 1 there is shown a needle body 11 in which a hollow portion
11a is extended through a nearly whole length of the needle body
11 and a suture 13 is inserted into the hollow portion 11a.
The hollow portion 11a is made of a U-shaped metal plate M as shown
in FIG. 4. Thus, the hollow portion 11a is formed in a substantially
overall length of the needle body 11. After the suture 13 has been
inserted in the hollow portion 11a as shown in FIG. 2 both sides
of the U-shaped metal plate M are caulked hermetically by a suitable
press means. The section of the caulked needle body 11 is circular
in this embodiment, but may be triangular or other shape.
A process for manufacturing the aforesaid suture needle will now
be described in connection with FIGS. 5(a) to 7(b).
FIGS. 5(a) to 5(d) are schematic views of the process for manufacturing
a large number of suture needles by press means.
FIGS. 6(a) to 6(c) are schematic views of a segmented suture needle
pattern 110 in which the suture 13 is inserted in the hollow portion.
FIGS. 7(a) and 7(b) are schematic views of a finished suture needle
by the aforesaid steps.
The metal plate M made of a stainless steel (in this embodiment)
may be formed from a flattened plate or may be an existing U-shaped
pipe. Or, a material of the suture needle body may be made by cutting
a round pipe in a semicircular section form in an axial direction.
A process for manufacturing a large number of suture needles in
the case of U-shaped metal plate M is used comprises the following
(A) To enhance the rigidity of the metal plate M itself, it is
subject to compression by a suitable press means.
(B) Following this step, a nearly triangular cutaway portion C
is formed on both walls M1 and M2 of the U-shaped metal plate M
as shown in FIG. 5(b). It is formed with an equal space in a longitudinal
direction of the metal plate M in order to produce a front part
11b of individual suture needle body 11.
(C) Next to this step, the front part 11b is closed as shown in
FIG. 5(d), thereby a pointed end 11c is formed. The section of the
pointed end 11c may be circular or triangular, and the pointed end
11c is formed by press means.
(D) Next to this step, a series of the needle patterns 110 combined
with each other at respective pointed ends 11c are segmented individually.
A main body 11d of each needle pattern 110 excluding the pointed
end 11c is of a U-shaped section as shown in FIGS. 5(d) and 6(a)
(E) Each segmented needle pattern 110 as well as its pointed end
11c is ground by barrel grinding, chemical grinding or the like.
(F) Next to this step, the suture 13 having a suitable length is
inserted in a U-shaped overall groove (or the main body 11d) of
the needle pattern 110 as shown in FIGS. 6(b) and 6(c). The U-shaped
groove is still open.
(G) Next to this step, both sides of the U-shaped needle pattern
110 are caulked hermetically by press means and the suture 13 is
fixed firmly in the main body 11d, namely in the hollow portion
having a circular section. Namely, the needle body is of a hollow
construction extending from its pointed end to its rear end, and
the suture is inserted and fixed in a substantially overall length
of the needle body.
(H) Subsequently, a suture needle 12 as produced by the above steps
is bent as shown in FIG. 7(b) as necessity arises.
In conclusion, the effects and aspects of a suture needle according
to the first embodiment can be summarized as follows.
(1) Since a suture is inserted and fixed within a needle body throughout
its substantially overall length, disengagement of the suture from
the needle body is entirely prevented. Such a suture needle may
be called an eyeless needle.
(2) Since the needle body is provided with a groove, it is of a
tubular structure and becomes lightweight. In addition, its rigidity
(3) Since a suture is extended through a substantially overall
length of the needle body and fixed therein, even if the needle
body will locally be broken within a human body, its broken part
cannot be remained in it. Because the whole of the needle body is
supported by the suture.
(4) Since the present invention has removed a hole structure in
the prior art, cleaning and sterilization become very easy.
(5) Because of the absence of the hole structure, any cumbersome
work has been removed. The products of uniform quality can be manufactured
at a low cost.
Further, the effects and aspects of the process for manufacturing
a suture needle according to the first embodiment can be summarized
(1) A large number of suture needles can be manufactured in a mass
production system. Accordingly, productivity is very high.
(2) Since no manual operation is required in each production stage,
quality of the products is constantly uniform. Thus, this invention
can satisfy a demand for high reliability in medical instruments.
(3) Since a desired number of suture needles are formed from an
elongated and flattened metal plate by means of punch press, cutting,
bending or the like, a desired diameter of the needle body as well
as a desired sectional profile may be predetermined optionally.
In addition, the production cost is inexpensive.
A second embodiment of the invention will be described with reference
to FIGS. 11 to 15(c). According to this embodiment, a large number
of suture needles can be produced successively by press means.
In FIG. 11 there is shown a metal plate M made of a stainless steel.
The metal plate M is produced by the following steps.
(A) A large number of needle patterns 111 are formed by press and
punching means as shown in FIG. 11.
(B) Following the above step, each needle pattern 111 is compressed
a few times by press means in order to increase its rigidity. As
shown in FIGS. 12(a) to 12(d), the section of the needle pattern
111 is transformed a few times from a rectangular shape to a round
shape and from the round one to the rectangular one. Finally, the
round section of it is obtained as shown in FIG. 13(a).
(C) Following the above step, an end of each needle pattern 111
is transformed into a pointed part 131 as shown in FIGS. 13(b) and
(D) Following the above step, a rear part 121 of the needle pattern
111 of a round section is transformed into a flattened shape as
shown in FIGS. 13(b) and 13(c).
(E) Following the above step, an opening 121a for inserting a suture
is perforated on the flattened rear part 121.
(F) After that, the pointed part 131 is ground by grinding means
so as to form an edge as shown in FIGS. 15(a) and 15(c).
(G) Subsequently, the large number of needle patterns 111 joined
each other to the metal plate M are divided into individual segments.
Then, each segment is bent in a suitable form, and a finished suture
needle 141 is obtained. It is a solid type suture needle having
an opening for inserting a suture. It is called an eye needle.
According to the second embodiment of the invention, a large number
of suture needles can be produced continuously by mechanical means,
so that the production cost is low and the quality of each needle
unit is uniform and stable. In addition, its resilience is very