BMC musculoskeletal disorders 2017 11 0318(1) 426 doi 10.1186/s12891-017-1784-x
The aim of the study was to evaluate the potential consequences of drilling titanium alloy (Ti) and tantalum (Ta) implants.
During an in vitro study, four holes were made in each of two spatially porous trabecular implants: one Ta and the other Ti alloy (Ti-6Al-7Nb). The weight and the volume of particles produced during the drilling were then measured using a Radwag XA 110/2X (USA) laboratory balance.
The loss of mass of the Ti and Ta implants was respectively 1.26 g and 2.48 g, and the volume of free particles was respectively 280 mm(3) and 149 mm(3). The particles were recovered after each stage. Despite the use of 5 μm filters, around 0.6% of the total implant mass from both implants was not recovered after drilling (roughly 2% of the mass of the particles created).
It is technically difficult to make holes in Ti and Ta implants using standard surgical tools, and the process creates a significant amount of metal particles which cannot be removed, despite intensive flushing. This may have a potentially adverse influence on the survival of the implant and result in negative systemic consequences.