Analysis of forces in conventional and ultrasonically assisted plane cutting of cortical bone

Khurshid Alam*, Mushtaq Khan, Vadim V. Silberschmidt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Bone cutting is a well accepted but technically demanding surgical procedure in orthopaedics. A level of tool penetration force during cutting of bones has been the prime concern to surgeons, since it can produce unnecessary mechanical damage to surrounding tissues. Research in this area has been undertaken for many decades to find ways to minimise the cutting force. Cutting of bone with ultrasonic tools is a relatively new technique replacing conventional procedures in neuro-, dental and orthopaedic surgeries, due to its precision and safety. In this article, the level of forces produced during a chisel-like tool penetration in a fresh cortical bone is studied. The obtained force data are analysed for both conventional cutting and ultrasonically assisted cutting. Through a series of experiments, it was demonstrated that the depth of cut and parameters of ultrasonic oscillations affected the level of cutting force, the former being the main factor in both types of cutting. It was found that the tool penetration force was decreased with an increase in the ultrasonic frequency or amplitude and was not affected by the cutting speed. The rise in bone temperature was measured and was found to be insensitive to the level of cutting speed within the range used in this study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)636-642
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone cutting
  • Cutting force
  • Experimental methods
  • Orthopaedics
  • Ultrasonic cutting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering


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