Game Changing SMARTdrill® technology published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Global Research and Reviews
JAAOS Global Research & Reviews Sept. 2018
Dual Motor Drill Continuously Measures Drilling Energy to Calculate Bone Density and Screw Pull-out Force in Real Time
Dr. Brian Gilmer from the Mammoth Orthopedic Institute tested SMARTdrill’s patented design in a synthetic human bone analog called Saw Bones. His study demonstrated that by measuring the total drilling energy needed to drill a hole and then place a screw a surgeon could extrapolate the density of the bone analog. Next the surgeon could measure the total energy to place the screw into the model (insertion energy) and could extrapolate the pull-out strength of the screw. He found:
- Drilling energy can accurately predict density
- Drilling energy can accurately predict pullout strength of a screw
- Insertion energy can accurately predict pullout strength of a screw
In this in vitro study using a composite foam bone block model, our hypothesis confirmed that real-time measurement of drilling energy allowed for calculation of bone density, which correlated very strongly with a known density. Furthermore, measurements of both drilling and screw insertion energy were strongly correlated with pull-out force testing. This information has potential implications for quantifying fracture fixation strength without destructive testing.
SMARTdrill® provides real-time data to surgeons not obtainable with current drill technology. This information allows surgeons to make critical decisions during surgery such as:
How many screws are needed to stabilize a fractured bone?
What is the quality of the bone being worked on; strong or weak, dense or porous, thin or thick?
Should I use more expensive locking screw and plate because the bone is weak?
Thousands of times a day across the world surgeons are confronted with these questions. Presently, surgeons lack the information to answer them. Previous polls at the annual AAOS meetings have substantiated the need.