Biomechanical Investigation of Bone Screw Head Design for Extracting Stripped Screw Heads: Integration of Mechanical Tests and Finite Element Analyses

Kinda Khalaf, Arash Azhang, Chih Hsiu Cheng, Mohammad Nikkhoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Enhancing the design of bone screw head sockets to prevent stripping and improve the torque required for smooth unscrewing is a significant challenge in orthopedic applications. This research aims to establish a quantitative methodology by integrating mechanical testing with finite element (FE) simulations to determine a safe limitation depth for the screwdriver when engaging with the hexagonal socket, thus avoiding stripped screw heads. A FE model was developed to investigate the biomechanical responses of the screw head design. Five custom-made hexagonal sockets were manufactured, and single load torsional tests were conducted to assess the mechanical performance of the screws and drivers. The results from the mechanical tests were compared with the FE simulations, demonstrating a close agreement and confirming the model’s validity. Furthermore, additional FE models were created to study the impact of manufacturing tolerances on the socket width and screwdriver width. The findings revealed that the maximum torque to failure for the four designs was lower than the margins specified in ISO 6475. Additionally, increasing the depth of the screwdriver led to higher maximum torque values. This research suggests that the technique of screw insertion, specifically the depth of the driver tool within the screw socket, holds greater importance in preventing stripped screw heads than the design and manufacturing width of the bone screw’s hexagonal socket and screwdriver. This confirms the importance of screwdriver engagement inside the bone screw socket to prevent stripped screw heads and sheds light on the added value of maximum torque prediction for future design modifications.

Original languageBritish English
Article number5470
JournalMaterials
Volume16
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2023

Keywords

  • bone screw
  • finite element modeling
  • screw head socket
  • screwdriver
  • stripped screw failure

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