Comparative study of conventional and ultrasonically-assisted bone drilling

K. Alam*, Naseer Ahmed, V. V. Silberschmidt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Bone drilling is a well-known surgical procedure in orthopaedics and dentistry for fracture treatment and reconstruction. Advanced understanding of the mechanics of the drill-bone interaction is necessary to overcome challenges associated with the process and related postoperative complications. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to explore the benefits of a novel drilling technique, ultrasonically-assisted drilling (UAD), and its possible utilization in orthopaedic surgeries. METHODS: The study was performed by conducting experiments to understand the basic mechanics of the drilling process using high speed filming of the drilling zone followed by measurements to quantify thrust force, surface roughness and cracking of the bone near the immediate vicinity of the hole with and without ultrasonic assistance. RESULTS: Compared to the spiral chips produced during conventional drilling (CD), UAD was found to break the chips in small pieces which facilitated their fast evacuation from the cutting region. In UAD, lower drilling force and better surface roughness was measured in drilling in the radial and longitudinal axis of the bone. UAD produced crack-free holes which will enhance postoperative performance of fixative devices anchoring the bone. CONCLUSIONS: UAD may be used as a possible substitute for CD in orthopaedic clinics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-262
Number of pages10
JournalTechnology and Health Care
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Bone drilling
  • chip formation
  • computed tomography
  • drilling force
  • surface roughness
  • ultrasonic vibrations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Information Systems
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics


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