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Piezoelectric osteotomy in hand surgery: first experiences with a new technique

Dominik J Hoigne1*, Stefan Stübinger2, Oliver Von Kaenel3, Sonia Shamdasani1 and Paula Hasenboehler4

Author Affiliations

1 Clinic for General Surgery, University Hospital of Basel, 4031 Basel, Switzerland

2 Clinic for Reconstructive Surgery, University Hospital of Basel, 4031 Basel, Switzerland

3 Clinic for Plastic-, Reconstructive-, and Handsurgery, Kantonsspital Aarau, 5001 Aarau, Switzerland

4 Bethesda Hospital, 4020 Basel, Switzerland

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2006, 7:36  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-7-36

Published: 12 April 2006



In hand and spinal surgery nerve lesions are feared complications with the use of standard oscillating saws. Oral surgeons have started using a newly developed ultrasound bone scalpel when performing precise osteotomies. By using a frequency of 25–29 kHz only mineralized tissue is cut, sparing the soft tissue. This reduces the risk of nerve lesions. As there is a lack of experience with this technique in the field of orthopaedic bone surgery, we performed the first ultrasound osteotomy in hand surgery.


While performing a correctional osteotomy of the 5th metacarpal bone we used the Piezosurgery® Device from Mectron [Italy] instead of the usual oscillating saw. We will report on our experience with one case, with a follow up time of one year.


The cut was highly precise and there were no vibrations of the bone. The time needed for the operation was slightly longer than the time needed while using the usual saw. Bone healing was good and at no point were there any neurovascular disturbances.


The Piezosurgery® Device is useful for small long bone osteotomies. Using the fine tip enables curved cutting and provides an opportunity for new osteotomy techniques. As the device selectively cuts bone we feel that this device has great potential in the field of hand- and spinal surgery.