Optimal parameters to avoid thermal necrosis during bone drilling: A finite element analysis

Mohamed Mediouni, Daniel Schlatterer, Amal Khoury, Tobias Von Bergen, Sunil Shetty, Manit Arora, Amit Dhond, Neal Vaughan, Alexander Volosnikov

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The drilling bone may potentially cause excessive frictional heat, which can lead to local bone necrosis. This heat generation and local necrosis has been suggested to contribute to the resorption of bone around the placed screws, ending in loss of screw purchase in the bone and inadvertent loosening and/or the bone‐implant construct. In vivo studies on this subject have inherent obstacles not the least of which is controlling the variables and real time bone temperature data acquisition. Theoretical models can be generated using computer software and the inclusion of known constants for the mechanical properties of metal and bone. These known Data points for the variables (drill bit and bone) enables finite element analysis of various bone drilling scenarios. An elastic–plastic three‐dimensional (3D) acetabular bone mode was developed and finite element model analysis (FEA) was applied to various simulated drilling procedures. The FEA results clearly indicate that the depth of drilling and the drill speed both have a significant effect on the temperature during drilling procedures. The reduction of the feeding speed leads to a reduction in bone temperature. Our data suggests that reducing the feeding speed regardless of RPMs and pressure applied could be a simple useful and effective way to reduce drilling temperatures. This study is the first step in helping any surgeon who drills bone and places screws to better understand the ideal pressure to apply and drill speed to employ and advance rate to avoid osteonecrosis.
    Original languageUndefined
    Pages (from-to)2386-2391
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2017

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