US 20040251390 A1
An operating room having an operating table, an overhead supported system including illuminating fixtures and a television system is disclosed. The system includes an overhead mounted tubular support arm having a supported end adapted to be rotated about a vertical axis. The arm also includes a horizontal section including a bend remote from the supported end. A television camera is positioned to image a patient on the table and a TV monitor is supported by the arm. The system includes a coaxial cable connected operably to the camera and connected to the monitor for transmitting image producing signals from the camera to the monitor. A helical pulley is in the supported end. The pulley includes a helical perimetral groove and a portion of the cable engages the groove, the cable extends from the pulley through the arm to the monitor and includes a coiled portion disposed in the arm.
1. A tubular monitor support assembly for overhead suspension comprising:
a) a support arm having support end portion adapted to be supportedly connected to an overhead support;
b) the arm including a tubular portion adapted to extend generally horizontally from the support end portion;
c) the arm including a bend remote from the arm end portion;
d) the bend connecting a remote end portion to the tubular portion;
e) a coaxial cable within the arm;
f) a pulley having a helical groove disposed in the support end portion, a portion of the cable being disposed in the groove; and,
g) the cable including a coiled portion disposed within the arm at a location remote from the support end portion.
2. An overhead suspension including the arm of claim one and a monitor connected to the arm and the cable.
3. The arm of
4. The arm of
5. The arm of
6. The arm of
7. The arm of
8. The arm of
9. The assembly of
10. The assembly of
11. In an operating room having an operating table, an overhead supported system including illuminating fixtures and a television system, the system comprising:
a) an overhead mounted tubular support arm having a supported end portion adapted to be rotated about a vertical axis;
b) the arm including a horizontal section extending from the supported portion;
c) the arm further including a bend connected to the horizontal section at a connection remote from the supported end;
d) the system further including a television apparatus including a camera positioned to image a patient on the table and a monitor supported by the arms;
e) the system also including a coaxial cable operably connected to the camera and connected to the monitor for transmitting image producing signals from the camera to the monitor;
f) a helical pulley mounted coaxially within the supported end portion for relative rotation, the pulley including a helical perimetral groove, a portion of the cable engaging the pulley in the groove;
g) the cable extending from the pulley through the arm to the monitor; and, h) the cable including a coiled portion disposed in the arm.
12. The system of
13. The system of
14. The system of
15. A sheave comprising:
a) an annular body having a through axial passage;
b) the body including a helical groove formed in a peripheral surface of the body and extending for at least 360 degrees about the body; and,
c) the body also including a radial passage communicating the axial passage with the groove.
16. In combination with the sheave of
17. The combination of
 Referring now to the drawings and to FIG. 1 in particular, an operating table is shown very schematically at 10. The table is mounted on a floor 12 of an operating room. A ceiling mounted assembly 14 is suspended from a ceiling 15 above the table 10. The assembly 14 includes an articulated pair of lamp arms 16 supporting a lamp 18. The lamp arms are adjustably connected by a pivot at 20. An upper one of the arms 16 includes an end section 22 mounted for rotation about a vertical axis of a vertically suspended support tube 23, FIG. 3 .
 A TV camera mounting is shown at 24 below the lamp arm mounting 22. The mountings 22, 24 are tubular and axially aligned. The mounting 24, like the mounting 22 is rotatable about the same vertical support tube 23 and axis. The camera mounting 24 supports an articulated pair of arms 25 which in turn support a TV camera 26. The TV camera is positioned to image an operation being performed on the table 10 and to provide output signals for a closed circuit television system.
 A pair of monitor support arms are shown generally at 28 & 29. For simplicity and clarity of description only the support arm 28 will be described in detail it being understood the support arm 29 corresponds to the support arm 28. The support arm 28 includes a tubular end mounting section 30. The end mounting section 30 is axially aligned with the mountings 22, 24 for the lamp arms 16 and the TV camera arms 25. The mounting section 30 is rotatably supported on the support tube 23 by a bearing 31, FIG. 3.
 The support arm 28 includes a tubular portion 32 extending horizontally from the mounting section 30. The tubular portion 32 includes a 90 degree bend 34 remote from the mounting section 30. A further arm 35 is pivotally mounted at 36 to an end of the tubular portion 32 remote from the mounting section 30. A flat panel monitor is shown schematically at 38. The monitor is suspended from the further arm 35 by a support arm 39 in the shape of an inverted question mark.
 Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 4, the novel features of the present invention which permit substantial repositioning of the monitor 38 are shown. The assembly includes a coaxial cable 40 which provides imaging signals to the monitor 38. For clarity of illustration the conductors for providing power to the lamp 18 and for transmitting pick up signals from the TV camera 26 to processing circuitry are not shown. The camera signals which are transmitted to processing circuitry cause the circuitry to in turn transmit imaging signals through the coaxial cable 40. The coaxial cable 40 has substantial stiffness with the result that there has been extremely limited adjustability available in prior supports. Indeed prior systems can be said to be unadjustable.
 With the present invention a novel pulley or sheave 42 is provided and best seen in FIG. 2. The pulley 42 includes a through axial bore 44. The pulley 42 also includes a perimetral helical groove 46. The pulley bore 44 communicates with the groove 46 through a radial opening 48. The cable 40 extends through the bore of the end mounting section 22 into the pulley bore 44 thence through the opening 48 into the helical groove 46. The cable then extends through a side opening 50 in the end section 30 to the bore within the tubular portion 32 of the arm 28. As is best seen in FIG. 3, a pin 51 connects the sheave 42 to the support tube 23 so that the mounting section 30 may be rotated around and relative to the sheave 42.
 The cable 40 includes a coiled section 52, FIGS. 3 and 4. As the support for the monitor is rotated about the vertical axis of the mounting section 30 and/or adjusted up and down, the coiled section is expanded and contracted depending on the direction of adjustments and the cable is either played out from or further wound into the helical groove 46. The coiled section of the cable is designed to take up slack in the cable, as it is wound and unwound about the helical cuts in the sheave. The stiffness of the cable, as it is fed from or wound onto the sheave 42 causes the cord to wrap in and out of the helical grooves. The close surrounding fit of the mounting section 30 about the sheave and the cable is an important factor in controlling the effective length of the cable. Further at least that portion of the cable which does or may engage the internal wall of the mounting section 30 is equipped with a slippery surface in the form of a wrap of Nylon expandable sleeving.
 The described system provides significant adjustability not available in prior systems. For example, in tests of a prototype system a support arm corresponding to the arm 28, adjustment of 540 degrees of rotation was available. Thus if, for example, the table is repositioned or a new table 10 is installed, substantial readjustment of the positioning of the monitor 38 may be required and the system of the present invention will accommodate such repositioning.
 A cathode ray tube type monitor 54 monitor is also shown in FIG. 1. The CRT monitor 54 is carried by a further arm 56 and a support tray 58. The further arm 56 is pivotally supported by the monitor support arm 29. In practice, one, two or more monitors may be ceiling mounted. Each monitor may be either a flat panel or a CRT type although the panel type monitors are preferred because they are more compact and lighter in weight.
 Although the invention has been described in its preferred form with a certain degree of particularity, it is understood that the present disclosure of the preferred form has been made only by way of example and that numerous changes in the details of construction, operation and the combination and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and the scope of the invention as hereinafter claimed.
 In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a somewhat schematic view showing an operating table very schematically and a ceiling mounted illumination and television arrangement;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view on an enlarged scale of a helical pulley or sheave made in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the mounting apparatus of the present invention as seen from a vertical plane through the ceiling mount of FIG. 1; and,
FIG. 4 is a foreshortened and somewhat fragmentary sectional view as seen from a plane normal to the plane of FIG. 3.
 This invention relates to viewing systems and more particularly to a ceiling mounted rotational arm system including a closed circuit television viewing arrangement which is ideal for use in an operating room.
 A typical operating room includes a patient supporting table positioned beneath ceiling mounted illumination. In many instances a modern operating room will also include a closed circuit television viewing system. Cameras for such systems are positioned to provide live television images of surgical procedures as they progress.
 Output signals developed by such cameras are transmitted to monitors in the operating room for viewing by members of a surgical team. The output signals may also be transmitted to monitors in remote locations to enable persons not in the operating room to observe surgical procedures. Thus, the monitors may be viewed by those performing and assisting the surgery and others as well. Indeed with many modern day surgical procedures where TV cameras are inserted into patients such monitors often provide the only images of the surgery that the surgeon can observe.
 It has been proposed that TV monitors in an operating room be supported by ceiling mounts. The stiffness of coaxial cables transmitting image producing signals to suspended monitors is such that it has heretofore been impossible to provide a ceiling supported arm carrying a monitor while providing a suitable range of adjustment to permit other than minimal repositioning of the monitor. Accordingly it would be desirable to provide a ceiling mounted support for a TV monitor which support is adjustable over a range of adjustment to permit the monitor to be repositioned from time to time.
 An adjustable ceiling mounted support for a TV monitor embodies the present invention. The support includes a tubular arm having a mounting end section. The mounting section, when in use, has a through passage mounted with its axis vertical. A tubular arm extends horizontally when in use, from the mounting section. The arm defines a horizontal internal passage in communication with the mounting section passage. The tubular arm includes a 90 degree bend at a location remote from the mounting section. A further tubular arm is suspended from the support arm to in turn support the TV monitor.
 A tubular pulley or sheave including a helical, perimetral groove is coaxially mounted in the mounting section. A coaxial cable extends downwardly from the ceiling into a pulley bore and thence through a wall of the helical pulley to the helical groove formed in the perimeter of the pulley. The cable is wrapped around the pulley in the helical groove. The extent to which the cable is wrapped in the groove depends on the orientation of the support as the support assembly is rotated around the vertical axis while the pulley or sheave is maintained stationary. The inside diameter of the mounting section and the diameter of the pulley are sized to coact in maintaining the cable snugly in the groove. This coaction assures appropriate pay out and pick up of the cable relative to the pulley as the arm and mounting section are rotated around the vertical axis and the stationary sheave.
 The coax cable extends through the tubular arm to a coiled section of the cable positioned in or near the bend. In use if the support arm is rotated about the vertical axis of the mounting section stretching or contraction of the coiled sections occurs. As the stretching or contraction occurs, coaction of the sheave, the mounting section and the cable cause the cable to be fed out from or further wrapped in, the helical groove. Thus, the novel construction accommodates TV monitor repositioning over a range that has not been available in prior monitor supporting arrangements.
 Accordingly the objects of the invention are to provide a novel and improved TV monitor support especially suited for use in a surgical environment and a process of positioning a monitor.