Surgical cement removal through controlled chipping


My final year project has just wrapped up, here are a few images of the final product along with an abstract giving an outline of the project. Message me or leave a comment if you are interested in seeing the full report.

The design for a bone-cement removal tool, which utilises a chipping mechanism to break up the cement within the femoral cavity, was successfully taken from conception through to a working prototype. The development of the chipping mechanism is described in detail providing background behind the decision making process and design intent.

During testing the final tool was shown to be able to chip cement of thicknesses between 1-2mm at a depth of 250mm. Additionally, through small modifications to the drive unit chipping forces of up to 375N were recorded at the tooth barb.

The finalised tool design permits the removal of cement without risking damage to the surrounding bone by bracing itself on the cement mantle, rather than applying any force directly to the bone. Unlike many traditional tools the device only needs a partial hole to be drilled into the cement mantle to operate. Consequently the risk of cortical bone perforation during drilling is greatly reduced.

The current state of the design is described in detail, areas of future development are highlighted with suggestions for further work given.

Detent mechanism close-up from Steven Brace on Vimeo.

internal mechanism renders from Steven Brace on Vimeo.

2 Replies to “Surgical cement removal through controlled chipping”

  1. Hi Steven,

    Really cool design and movie! I’m doing my graduation project on cement plug removal during hip revision surgery and i’m interested in the rest of your project and your report. Is it possible to see it? 🙂 Would be nice.

    Thanks in advance!



    1. Sure, send me an email to Steven @ this domain and I can send you a copy. Might not be able to do it until next Monday as I’m not sure if I have it on this machine. I’ll check and see later.


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