Influence of Surgical Drill Geometry on Drilling Performance of Cortical and Trabecular Bone

  • Ramesh KuppuswamyEmail author
  • Brett Christie-Taylor
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes on Multidisciplinary Industrial Engineering book series (LNMUINEN)


Numerous orthopedic operations involve inserting screws and wires to attach plates, help align, and immobilize fractured bones, so that they may heal correctly. These operations require drilling into the bone so that screws can be used in the operation. Furthermore, the surgical tools require a large degree of flexibility to access the surgical sites in the complex shaped human joints. The flexibility feature on the surgical drills has an adverse effect on the capacity to transmit high bone drilling forces. Furthermore, prevention of necrosis or cell death is crucial for surgical interventions such as bone marrow stimulation, bone marrow donor recruitment, bone biopsies, or removal of osteosynthesis materials. The more efficient the drilling operation, the smaller the impact on the bone. This results in a healthier bone which enables implants to support higher loads with a greater chance of success. This research unveils the influence of surgical drill geometry, specifically the effect that the web dimensions have on drilling performance of cortical and trabecular bone. The drilling performance was analyzed through study of process parameters: thrust force, temperature rise, and surface finish of the drilled hole. A series of experiments were carried out on both Poly-methyl Methacrylate (PMMA) and bovine bone test samples.


Surgical drill Cortical and trabecular bone Web Gashing 



The authors wish to thank Dr. A. Devlig, University of Cape Town, Medical school, Cape Town, South Africa, toward the supply of bovine tibia bone samples and for the insight on surgical drill-related issues while drilling the bones and tissues. Further thanks go to Mrs. Penny Louw for her assistance with the optical microscope and her help with surface roughness testing; Mrs. Miranda Waldron for her assistance with the scanning electron microscope; and Mr. Horst Emrich for his assistance with the milling machine. This project was supported by fund NRF grant: Incentive Funding for Rated Researchers (IPRR)—South Africa through Reference: IFR150204113619 and Grant No: 96066.


  1. 1.
    Sener, B., Guhan, D., Bahar, G., Ergun, K., Imad, S.: Effect drilling speeds of Irrigation temperature on heat control in vitro at different drilling depths. Clin. Oral Implants Res. 20, 294–298 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Mali, V., Warhatkar, H., Pawade, R.: Assessment of Cutting Forces and Temperature in Bone Drilling. In: All India Manufacturing Technology, Design and Research Conference, Pune, (2016)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Gupta, V., Pandey, P., Silberschmidt, V.: Rotary ultrasonic bone drilling: improved pull out strength and reduced damage. Med. Eng. Phys. 41, 1–8 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Augustin, G., Davila, S., Toma, U., Tomislav, S., Danko, B., Slaven, B.: Temperature changes during cortical bone drilling with a newly designed step drill and an internally cooled drill. Int. Orthop. 36, 1449–1456 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Elias, S.D., Carl, H.: Factors affecting the determination of the physical properties of femoral cortical bone. Acta Orthop. Scand. 37(1), 29–48 (1966)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bertollo, N., Walsh, W.R.: Drilling of Bone: practicality, Limitations and Complications associated with Surgical Drill-Bits, Intech (2011)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Karmani, S., Lam, F.: The design and function of surgical drills and K-wires. Curr. Orthopaedics 18, 484–490 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Mohamed., Carl, W., Norman., Sherif, T.: Heat generation during implant drilling: the significance of motor speed. Oral Maxillofac Surg. 60, 1160–1169 (2002)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kalidindi, V.: Optimisation of drill design and coolant systems during dental implant surgery. University of Kentucky master’s Thesis (2004)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Adili, A.: Robot-assisted orthopaedic surgery. Semin. Laparoscopic Surg. 11(2), 89–98 (2004)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kapakjian, S., Steven, R.S.: Book. Manufacturing Processes for Engineering Materials, 5th edn. Pearson Education, Singapore (2009)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations