Effect of sequential hole enlargement on cortical bone temperature during drilling of 6.2-mm-diameter transcortical holes in the third metacarpal bones of horse cadavers

Timothy B. Lescun, BVSc, MS; Elizabeth A. Frank, DVM; Joshua R. Zacharias, DVM, MS; Joanne K. Daggy, PhD; George E. Moore, DVM, PhD
American Journal of Veterinary Research
December 2011

Objective: To compare the bone temperature and final hole dimensions associated with sequential overdrilling (SO) and single 6.2-mm drill bit (S6.2DB) methods used to create transcortical holes in the third metacarpal bones (MCIIIs) of horse cadavers.

Sample—60 MCIIIs from 30 horse cadavers.

Procedures—In phase 1, hole diameter, tap insertion torque, peak bone temperature, and postdrilling bit temperature for 6.2-mm-diameter holes drilled in the lateral or medial cortical region of 12 MCIIIs via each of three 2-bit SO methods with a single pilot hole (diameter, 3.2, 4.5, or 5.5 mm) and the S6.2DB method were compared. In phase 2, 6.2-mm-diameter transcortical holes were drilled via a 2-bit SO method (selected from phase 1), a 4-bit SO method, or a S6.2DB method at 1 of 3 locations in 48 MCIIIs; peak bone temperature during drilling, drill bit temperature immediately following drilling, and total drilling time were recorded for comparison.

Results—Hole diameter or tap insertion torque did not differ among phase 1 groups. Mean ± SD maximum bone temperature increases at the cis and trans cortices were significantly less for the 4-bit SO method (3.64 ± 2.01°C and 8.58 ± 3.82°C, respectively), compared with the S6.2DB method (12.00 ± 7.07°C and 13.19 ± 7.41°C, respectively). Mean drilling time was significantly longer (142.9 ± 37.8 seconds) for the 4-bit SO method, compared with the S6.2DB method (49.7 ± 24.3 seconds).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Compared with a S6.2DB method, use of a 4-bit SO method to drill transcortical holes in cadaveric equine MCIIIs resulted in smaller bone temperature increases without affecting hole accuracy.

Large animal: