All About Cannulated Screws

All About Cannulated Screws: Function, Benefits, and Surgical Procedure

Cannulated Screw

Cannulated Screws

Cannulated screws are medical devices commonly used in orthopedic surgeries for various applications. These screws have a hollow center, allowing for precise insertion over a guide wire. This feature makes them a versatile tool in the field of orthopedics, especially for stabilizing fractures and promoting bone healing. In this article, we will delve into the characteristics, functions, benefits, and the surgical process of inserting and, if necessary, removing cannulated screws.

What kind of device is a cannulated screw?
A cannulated screw is a specialized orthopedic implant designed for fixation in bone fractures. It is a type of screw with a hollow core, allowing for the insertion of a guide wire during surgery. These screws come in various lengths and diameters to accommodate different bone sizes and types of fractures.

Purpose of Cannulated Screws:
The primary purpose of cannulated screws is to stabilize fractures by providing internal fixation. They are commonly used in fractures of long bones, such as the femur, tibia, and humerus. Cannulated screws aid in maintaining the alignment of fractured bone fragments, promoting faster and more efficient healing. Additionally, they are utilized in arthrodesis procedures, where joint surfaces are fused to alleviate pain and improve joint function.

Benefits of Cannulated Screws:
a. Minimal Invasion: The hollow design allows for a less invasive surgical approach, reducing trauma to surrounding tissues.

b. Precise Placement: The insertion of cannulated screws is guided by a wire, ensuring accurate placement and alignment during surgery.

c. Enhanced Healing: Cannulated screws provide stable fixation, facilitating optimal conditions for bone healing.

d. Versatility: These screws can be used in various orthopedic procedures, making them a versatile tool for surgeons.

Diameter of Cannulated Screws:
Cannulated screws come in different diameters to accommodate the specific requirements of various surgical applications. The choice of diameter depends on factors such as the size and type of bone, as well as the nature of the fracture. The range typically varies from 2.0 mm to 7.0 mm or even larger, allowing surgeons to select the most suitable size for the given situation.

How are Cannulated Screws Inserted?
The surgical insertion of cannulated screws involves several steps:

a. Preoperative Planning: Surgeons assess the patient's condition, review imaging studies (X-rays, CT scans), and plan the surgery.

b. Anesthesia: The patient receives anesthesia to ensure comfort and pain control during the procedure.

c. Incision: A small incision is made over the fracture site to access the bone.

d. Guide Wire Insertion: A guide wire is carefully inserted through the hollow core of the cannulated screw, guiding its path during placement.

e. Screw Insertion: The cannulated screw is then threaded over the guide wire and precisely placed to stabilize the fracture.

f. Closure: The incision is closed, and the patient is monitored during the recovery period.

Do Cannulated Screws Get Removed?
In some cases, cannulated screws may be removed after the bone has sufficiently healed. This decision depends on factors such as the type of fracture, the location of the screw, and the patient's overall health. The removal process, known as screw extraction, is typically less complex than the initial insertion. It involves reopening the incision, locating the screw, and carefully extracting it, often with the aid of fluoroscopy or imaging.

Cannulated screws play a crucial role in orthopedic surgeries, offering surgeons a versatile and minimally invasive option for stabilizing fractures and promoting bone healing. The hollow design, precise placement, and various size options contribute to their widespread use in different orthopedic applications. Understanding the functions, benefits, and insertion procedures of cannulated screws provides valuable insights into their role in modern orthopedic practice.

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