WIT Press

Cortical bone screws constructive characteristics – a comparative study


Free (open access)


Volume 9 (2021), Issue 4



Page Range

283 - 295

Paper DOI



WIT Press


Andrea T. Lugas, Domenico C. Aloj, Daniele Santoro, Vittoria Civilini, Simone Borrelli & Cristina Bignardi


Osteosynthesis is a surgical technique for the treatment of skeletal fractures through the implant of mechanical devices, such as plates and screws, in order to stabilize and fix the injured skeletal segment. It is preferred to the conservative treatment when the fracture requires immediate surgical correction or when, blocking the joints, degenerative changes could occur. Bone screws have different shapes and sizes depending on the intended use. In this study, six types of cortical bone screws were tested to determine the torque transmitted to the bone during the insertion. One Ti6Al4V tapered (Ø 6 mm) and five AISI 316L stainless steel – two straight (Ø 4 and 6 mm) and three tapered (Ø 4, 5, and 6 mm) – screws were used during the tests. Screws have been screwed into Sawbones (Sawbones® Pacific Research Laboratories, Inc., Vashon, USA) solid foam-type cylinders (external diameter 30 mm and thickness 3.5 mm) simulating the cortical bone diaphysis. Each of the 26 screws tested was inserted in a Sawbone cylinder five times, in five previously drawn equally spaced points, without any pilot holes. The experiment design was based on the ASTM standard for medical bone screws; two experi- enced orthopedic surgeons performed the insertions and removals of the screws using a hand-drill at 1 rev/s, aided by a metronome, and the torque was measured with a torsiometer throughout the tests. The mean and maximum torque resulted to be higher for larger diameter screws. Considering the same diameter, tapered screws showed a higher torque required for the extraction, which indicates stronger retention. However, in some cases, the Sawbones cylinder was fractured during the insertion of screws with a 6 mm diameter. Therefore, the use of medium-size tapered screws might be the most advisable compromise.


Cortical bone screws, Diameter, Extraction torque, Insertion torque, Shape