Articulatable surgical instruments with separate and distinct closing and firing systems

  • US 9,681,870 B2
  • Filed: 12/23/2013
  • Issued: 06/20/2017
  • Est. Priority Date: 12/23/2013
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
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1. A surgical instrument, comprising:

  • a surgical end effector comprising first and second end effector portions, wherein the second end effector portion is selectively movable relative to the first end effector portion in a first direction upon application of an opening motion to said second end effector portion, said second end effector portion being further selectively movable in a second direction upon application of a closing motion to said second end effector portion;

    an elongated shaft assembly defining a longitudinal tool axis and operably coupled to said surgical end effector, said elongated shaft assembly including an articulation portion for facilitating selective articulation of said surgical end effector relative to said longitudinal tool axis in said first and second directions upon application of articulation motions to said surgical end effector;

    a firing member operably supported for operable movement within said surgical end effector upon application of firing and retraction motions thereto;

    a firing system configured to selectively apply said firing and retraction motions to said firing member, said firing system comprising;

    a source of said firing and retraction motions;

    a first firing bar operably interfacing with said source of said firing and retraction motions and operably attached to said firing member; and

    a second firing bar operably interfacing with said source of said firing and retraction motions and operably attached to said firing member, said first and second firing bars configured to move axially together and laterally relative to each other upon application of said firing and retraction motions to said first and second firing bars and wherein said surgical instrument further comprises;

    a closure system configured to selectively apply said opening and closing motions to said first and second end effector portions; and

    an articulation control system for applying said articulation motions to said surgical end effector.

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