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Motion Considerations for Motorized Multi-function Surgical Power Tools

December 11, 2020

Motion Considerations for Motorized Multi-function Surgical Power Tools

Orthopedic trauma and implant procedures involve many areas of the body and several types of operations. But despite the diversity of applications, Orthopedic surgeons need to perform three primary functions to accomplish the majority of joint replacements and repairs of broken bones.
  1. Sawing:  Remove large portions of bone to be replaced by implant (sagittal, oscillating, or reciprocating versions)\
  2. Drilling:  Create small cylindrical holes into which pins and screws are inserted to either secure an implant or secure a cutting jig that then guides the saw cuts
  3. Reaming:  Hollow out cavities within the bone to accept implants
These functions are all achieved using Surgical Hand Tools with a high-performance motor powering the drill, saw, or reamer bit. But not all tool OEMs take the same approach to their product line.

Some companies produce a different tool to perform each of these functions. The advantage of this is optimizing performance specifically to that function. However, the downside is that 3 different tools must be purchased and prepared for each surgery, which carries higher costs as well as more items requiring sterilization.

But many surgical hand tool companies instead produce a single tool that can perform all three functions by incorporating modular attachments that include the gearing and couplers required for the sawing, drilling, and reaming. This reduces the number of tools a surgical center must purchase and sterilize between surgeries but requires motors that can handle a wider range of working points. There are also hybrid models in between these two models where more specialized functions (like sternum saws or hip reamers) are handled by a unique tool while all others are handled by a modular tool.

The decision of which approach to take has significant implications on motor selection. Portescap has experience designing motors for all types of tools and can assist in choosing the right model given other design goals. Portescap can also collaborate in the design or manufacturing of the gearing in the modular attachments to develop an optimized complete system.

Contact an engineer today!