In-vitro experimental analysis and numerical study of temperature in bone drilling

Technol Health Care. 2015;23(6):775-83. doi: 10.3233/THC-151035.


Background: Bone drilling is a common practice of surgical treatments in orthopaedics and traumatology. Penetration of a high-speed drill into bone tissue is accompanied by generation of a significant amount of heat. Cooling of the drilling region is necessary to avoid potential risk of thermal damage to bone.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to measure and predict bone temperature by conducting experiments and numerical simulations using cooling by means of irrigation at two different temperatures.

Methods: A series of experiments and numerical studies were performed to investigate the effect of cooling conditions on the rise in bone temperature in drilling. The temperature increase in bone was assessed for different drilling speeds and feed rates in the presence irrigation at 5 °C and 25 °C.

Results: Bone temperature was found to be strongly affected by the drilling parameters and cooling conditions. Irrigation with water at 5 °C kept bone temperature well below the thermal threshold level.

Conclusion: This study strongly recommends the use of irrigation at lower temperature for safe surgical incision.

Keywords: FE modelling; Orthopaedic; bone drilling; experimental analysis; thermal necrosis.

MeSH terms

  • Bone and Bones / surgery*
  • Cold Temperature
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humans
  • Orthopedic Procedures / methods*
  • Temperature*