Articulatable surgical instrument with independent pivotable linkage distal of an articulation lock

  • US 10,603,036 B2
  • Filed: 12/21/2016
  • Issued: 03/31/2020
  • Est. Priority Date: 12/21/2016
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
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1. A surgical tool assembly, comprising:

  • an elongate shaft assembly defining a shaft axis;

    a surgical end effector movably coupled to said elongate shaft assembly by a distal support link that is pivotally coupled to said surgical end effector to define an articulation axis that is transverse to said shaft axis, wherein said distal support link is axially aligned with said shaft axis when said surgical end effector is in a first unarticulated position, and wherein said distal support link is pivotally and axially movably coupled to said elongate shaft assembly for axial movement relative thereto along said shaft axis to enable said surgical end effector to be articulated relative to said elongate shaft assembly about said articulation axis between said first unarticulated position wherein said surgical end effector is aligned with said elongate shaft assembly along said shaft axis and articulated positions located on one side of said shaft axis; and

    a distal articulation member pivotally coupled to said surgical end effector and configured to axially move on said one side of said shaft axis in response to articulation motions applied thereto by a source of said articulation motions to thereby articulate said end effector between said first unarticulated position and said articulated positions.

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