Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery

, Volume 129, Issue 5, pp 703–709 | Cite as

Determination of spatial distribution of increase in bone temperature during drilling by infrared thermography: preliminary report

  • Goran AugustinEmail author
  • Slavko Davila
  • Toma Udiljak
  • Denis Stjepan Vedrina
  • Dinko Bagatin
Basic Science



During the drilling of the bone, the temperature could increase above 47°C and cause irreversible osteonecrosis. The spatial distribution of increase in bone temperature could only be presumed using several thermocouples around the drilling site. The aim of this study was to use infrared thermographic camera for determination of spatial distribution of increase in bone temperature during drilling.

Materials and methods

One combination of drill parameters was used (drill diameter 4.5 mm; drill speed 1,820 rpm; feed-rate 84 mm/min; drill point angle 100°) without external irrigation on room temperature of 26°C. The increase in bone temperature during drilling was analyzed with infrared thermographic camera in two perpendicular planes. Thermographic pictures were taken before drilling, during drilling with measurement of maximal temperature values and after extraction of the drill from the bone.


The thermographic picture shows that the increase in bone temperature has irregular shape with maximal increase along cortical bone, which is the most compact component of the bone. The width of this area with the temperature above critical level is three times broader than the width of cortical bone. From the front, the distribution of increase in bone temperature follows the form of the cortical bone (segment of a ring), which is the most compact part and causes the highest resistance to drilling and subsequent friction.


Thermography showed that increase in bone temperature spreads through cortical bone, which is the most compact and dense part, and generates highest frictional heat during drilling. The medullar cavity, because of its gelatinous structure, contributes only to thermal dissipation.


Thermal osteonecrosis Bone drilling Infrared thermography Spatial distribution Temperature 



This experiment is a part of the scientific project Biomechanics of fractures and fracture healing and is supported by The Ministry of Science, Education and Sports.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Goran Augustin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Slavko Davila
    • 1
  • Toma Udiljak
    • 2
  • Denis Stjepan Vedrina
    • 3
  • Dinko Bagatin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryUniversity Hospital Center ZagrebZagrebCroatia
  2. 2.Department of Technology, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, Chair of Machine ToolsUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia
  3. 3.Department of Measurement and Process Control, Faculty of Chemical Engineering and TechnologyUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia

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