Reinventing surgical instruments for all

The award-winning design of AesculapĀ® SQ.lineĀ® orthopaedic instruments considers the needs of both surgeons and Sterile Services Departments (SSDs).

B Braun understands the risk of musculoskeletal injury across all surgical specialities and the pain and disability induced by poor ergonomics,1 therefore reducing these issues was a key priority. Additionally, B Braun has considered the impact of instrument form and composition on the processes within the SSDs and set the challenge of reducing reprocessing time and complications through innovative design.2

Why is ergonomic design important?

Ergonomic design is a particularly acute problem for orthopaedic surgeons who work in an environment that puts a high demand on their bodies. Repetitive movements with instruments and operating in sustained, non-ergonomic positions, all contribute to this increased load on the bones and muscles, highlighting the need for increased awareness and implementation of preventative measures.1

Furthermore, a 2021 study identified that musculoskeletal (MSK) injury rates are higher among women. Female orthopaedic surgeons were shown to be more likely to report physical symptoms than their male counterparts whilst also claiming that common surgical instruments were difficult and uncomfortable to use.3

The benefits for surgeons

The ergonomically designed instruments reduce pressure points and joint stress so that the risk of injury is reduced. To illustrate, within the uniquely designed range is the SQ.line mallet, providing 70% more grip due to shape, material edges and texture. Surgeons can feel the difference with less force needed to achieve a more secure grip during the use of SQ.line instruments, with tests showing that 25% less force is needed to cut through wires.4,5 

The benefits for SSDs

Every day, SSDs handle thousands of reusable surgical instruments and devices. Instrument design can add complexity to reprocessing work – instruments with non-observable joints and narrow gaps make inspection difficult and increase the cleaning time, resulting in potential rework, delays and increased stress.

Difficult-to-inspect areas also leave instruments vulnerable to harbouring various bioburden. Complications in the reprocessing of surgical instruments can also contribute to Surgical Site Infections (SSI) cases.6 87% of interviewed SSDs believe that the SQ.line design may reduce complexity in CSSD, which could help to reduce the risk of surgical site infections.5

SSDs can see the difference and address the challenges of device cleaning. All SQ.line instruments are made entirely from stainless steel without critical interfaces to other materials, they are less vulnerable and easier to clean. Improved efficiencies in visual inspection is possible with SQ.line with difficult-to-inspect areas reduced by more than 50%.4

Manual pre-cleaning steps can be eliminated with fully machine-cleanable instruments. This means that the limit of protein residues is reached at an earlier stage during cleaning and disinfection compared to current instrument designs- thereby reducing potential rework.

With award-winning Aesculap SQ.line orthopaedic instruments, you can be the difference and make the changes to help address the challenges faced by colleagues. If you want to speak to an expert to find out how SQ.line can benefit your clinical and sterile services teams visit:


  1. Aaron KA, Vaughan J, Gupta R, Ali NE, Beth AH, Moore JM, Ma Y, Ahmad I, Jackler RK, Vaisbuch Y. The risk of ergonomic injury across surgical specialties. PLoS One. 2021 Feb 9;16(2):e0244868. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0244868. PMID: 33561117; PMCID: PMC7872272.
  2. SQ.line easy to clean design, Comparison of reprocessing – SQ.line vs. traditional design
  3. Fram B, Bishop M E, Beredjiklian P, et al. (May 11, 2021) Female Sex is Associated With Increased Reported Injury Rates and Difficulties With Use of Orthopedic Surgical Instruments. Cureus 13(5): e14952. doi:10.7759/cureus.14952
  4. B. Braun Medical. (n.d.). White Paper overview SQ.line® Mallet – Pressure Points
  5. Customer interviews SQ.line Results, B Braun Medical
  6. P.M Southworth. Journal of Hospital Infection 88. 2014; 127-131.

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