Drilling into bone is a common practice during orthopedic surgeries associated with the repair, replacement, or removal of bone. A surgical drill is used to predrill holes into the patient’s bone to attach fixture equipment. During this process, the friction between the surgical drill bit and the patient’s bone causes a rapid increase in temperature at the drilling site. This excessive heat often leads to patient osteonecrosis, or bone cell death. The slow onset of osteonecrosis can lead the bone fixture to become loose or detach from the patient, such complications can be fatal. Currently, surgeons cannot do much to prevent the onset of osteonecrosis. Here we will show how additive manufacturing can be used to create an orthopedic drill bit with internal cooling channels with complex geometries. This design leads to a significant reduction in the drill bit operating temperature and reduce the likelihood and severity of osteonecrosis.

Reducing Osteonecrosis with Additive Manufacturing of Orthopedic Drill Bits

Advisor: Dr. Folarin Erogbogbo

Authors: Garrett Murray, Teralyn Crill, Phillip Stauffer