Comparison of Hand Drills for the Insertion of Skeletal Traction Pins

Skeletal traction pins are inserted as part of emergent stabilization of lower extremity fractures. The purpose of this study is to compare two drill options: a reusable store-bought drill and a single-use, sterilely packaged drill. The reusable drill and disposable drill were compared by having volunteers insert traction pins within a foam bone, fully encased, knee joint model using both systems. The two drill types were evaluated on three measures: user satisfaction, time required for insertion of the pins, and cost. The disposable drill received a statistically significant higher user satisfaction score and a statistically significant faster time to pin insertion. The per-use cost of the disposable system was found to be higher. For skeletal traction pin insertion, the disposable, single-use drill was found to be superior to the reusable drill in user satisfaction and time required for traction pin insertion. Institutional cost analysis favors the disposable system because of the more predicable charge capture, while the per-use cost of the disposable system remains higher. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 27(4):274–276, 2018)
Key words: cost analysis, damage control orthopaedics, skeletal traction, traction pins, trauma, user satisfaction

Cameron A. Roth, MD, MHS; Stefan Turkula, MD; David A. Fuller, MD; and Kenneth W. Graf, MD