ONG, F.R. and BOUAZZA-MAROUF, K., 2000. Evaluation of bone strength: correlation between measurements of bone mineral density and drilling force. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine, 214(4), pp. 385-399
Bone drilling is a major part of modern orthopaedic surgery which involves the internal fixation of fractured bones. The investigation of bone drilling described in this paper demonstrates the contribution of automation technology towards the study of bone strength. The aim of this preliminary investigation is to establish a relationship between bone drilling forces and measurements of bone mineral density (BMD) by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). A linear relationship with a high coefficient of correlation has been found between average drilling forces and BMD measurements at both the greater trochanter and the femoral head of porcine femurs when drilling in the anterior-posterior (AP) direction (i.e. the direction of the DXA scan). It has also been found that in the normal drilling direction (i.e. in the cervical axis direction), which is orthogonal to the DXA scanning direction, there are similar trends between the drilling forces and BMD levels in regions where bone density is more consistent (e.g. the femoral head). The findings of this investigation indicate that analysis of bone drilling forces has the potential to provide useful information about the strength of bone.