Ex parte MICHAEL E. MILLER et al. - Page 9

          Appeal No. 96-2294                                                          
          Application 08/278,558                                                      

               1.  A surgical cutting instrument for use in cutting tissue            
          within an anatomical space, comprising:                                     
               an outer tubular member sized for percutaneous insertion               
          into the anatomical space, said outer tubular member defining a             
          central bore along the length of said outer tubular member and              
          having a proximal end and a distal end, said outer tubular member           
          further defining a cutting opening having a first cutting edge              
          adjacent said distal end and sized to receive tissue                        
          therethrough, said cutting opening having a width dimension along           
          the length of said outer tubular member;                                    
               a handpiece for supporting said outer tubular member at said           
          proximal end;                                                               
               a cutting member slidably disposed within said central bore            
          of said outer tubular member, said cutting member including:                
               a tubular cutting head portion defining an end opening and a           
          second cutting edge at said end opening, said cutting head                  
          portion having a length dimension along the length of said                  
          cutting member that is at least equal to said width dimension of            
          said cutting opening;                                                       
               a tubular body portion extending through said central bore             
          from a distal end adjacent said cutting head portion to a                   
          proximal end adjacent said handpiece, wherein said head portion             
          and said body portion have substantially the same outer diameter,           
          which outer diameter is sized relative to the inner diameter of             
          said outer tubular member to provide a close running fit; and               
               a hinge portion connecting said cutting head portion with              
          said body portion to permit pivoting of said cutting head portion           
          relative to said body portion; and                                          
               connecting means within said handpiece for connecting said             
          body portion of said cutting member to a source of reciprocating            
          motion to reciprocate said cutting member within said outer                 
          tubular member so said second cutting edge traverses said first             
          cutting edge,                                                               


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Last modified: November 3, 2007