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Effect of pilot hole diameter and tapping on insertion torque and axial pullout strength of 4.0-mm cancellous bone screws

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  • 1 South Carolina Veterinary Specialists, 3912 Fernandina Rd, Columbia, SC 29210.
  • | 2 South Carolina Veterinary Specialists, 3912 Fernandina Rd, Columbia, SC 29210.
  • | 3 Department of Applied Economics and Statistics, College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634.
  • | 4 Department of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the effects of pilot hole diameter and tapping on insertion torque and axial pullout strength of 4.0-mm cancellous bone screws in a synthetic canine cancellous bone substitute.

Sample—75 synthetic cancellous bone blocks (15 blocks/group).

Procedures—For groups 1 through 5, screw size-pilot hole diameter combinations were 3.5–2.5 mm (cortical screws), 4.0–2.5 mm, 4.0–2.5 mm, 4.0–2.0 mm, and 4.0–2.0 mm, respectively. Holes were tapped in groups 1, 2, and 4 only (tap diameter, 3.5, 4.0, and 4.0 mm, respectively). One 70-mm-long screw was inserted into each block; in a servohydraulic materials testing machine, the screw was extracted (rate, 5 mm/min) until failure. Mean group values of maximum insertion torque, axial pullout strength, yield strength, and stiffness were determined.

Results—Mean maximum insertion torque differed significantly among the 5 groups; the group 5 value was greatest, followed by group 3, 4, 2, and 1 values. Group 3, 4, and 5 axial pullout strengths were similar and significantly greater than the group 2 value; all values were significantly greater than that for group 1. Group 5 and 4 yield strengths were similar and significantly greater than the group 3, 2, and 1 values. Stiffness in group 3 was similar to group 4 and 2 values but significantly greater than the group 5 value; all values were significantly greater than that for group 1.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—These synthetic cancellous bone model findings suggested that tapping a 2.0-mm-diameter pilot hole when placing a 4.0-mm screw is the optimal insertion technique.

Contributor Notes

Presented as a poster at the 37th Veterinary Orthopedic Society Conference, Breckenridge, Colo, February 2010.

Address correspondence to Dr. Kunkel (karkdvm@hotmail.com).