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Surgical Drill Eliminates Need for Manual Depth Gauging

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 17 Mar 2015
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Image: The IntelliSense orthopedic surgical drill (Photo courtesy of McGinley Orthopaedic Innovations).
Image: The IntelliSense orthopedic surgical drill (Photo courtesy of McGinley Orthopaedic Innovations).
A novel orthopedic surgical drill simplifies the drilling process, automatically providing the surgeon information on the location of the drill bit relative to the bone.

The IntelliSense is an orthopedic surgical drill that utilizes sensor technology integration to provide the surgeon with accurate information on the drilling process. When drilling through a section of cortical bone, the drill bit passes through three different layers of material; first in encounters the proximal hard outer cortical layer, then the soft non-resistant medullary layer, and finally the distal hard outer cortical layer. Integrated sensor technology monitors drill bit location and depth continuously, with direct surgical lighting aiding the surgeon as well.

Proprietary software translates the data to determine the precise location of the drill bit relative to the bone, so that a surgeon knows exactly where it is located relative to the bone. The drill is thus capable of detecting when the bit is passing through the bony cortex of the distal layer, preventing over-penetration and helping prevent damage to the soft tissue beyond. It can also help completely eliminate the need to manually gauge drill-hole depth. The IntelliSense Drill is a product of McGinley Orthopaedic Innovations (MOI; Casper, WY, USA).

“It takes imprecision out of the equation, since measurements by hand can be fallible and often end up costing patients and insurers thousands of dollars in wasted screws,” said Joseph McGinley, CEO of MOI. “A single orthopedic screw can cost hundreds of dollars, and if a physician doesn’t get it right the first time, it’s not reusable on the next patient. It occurs much more frequently than you think.”

Currently, surgeons use tactile sensation of the bone to terminate the drilling process. Once drilled, the hole is sized for the correct surgical screw using a mechanical depth measurement device.

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