In the confirmation x-ray above we see the penetration of a 3.2 mm drill bit through the proximal ulna that stopped in the distal cortex, just before it penetrated into the proximal radioulnar joint space. The surgeon simply used the graphical user interface (“GUI”) on the SMARTdrill® to determine when to stop, thus avoiding both joint space penetration and damage to the intra-articular cartilage. Importantly, the surgeon also avoided the radiation exposure associated with use of fluoroscopy.
The SMARTdrill® technology transfers seamlessly to real bone and tissue. In this porcine model the SMARTdrill® recognizes all four of the cortices and the distances between them. In addition, on inspection of the fourth curve, the surgeon can see that the drill bit encountered the proximal surface of the fourth cortex at about a 45o.
If this were a reverse shoulder replacement, the surgeon would have recognized the second cortex before drill bit penetration occurred and would have redirected to stay within the glenoid bone. Often 3-5 screws are placed in this manner, through the face of the glenoid (socket). The surgeon can only see the face of the glenoid, the rest of the boney anatomy is covered in soft tissue, so having the SMARTdrill® to ensure optimal placement of multiple screws is invaluable.