Measurement of osteotomy force during endoscopic sinus surgery

Paul Joice, Peter D. Ross, Eric W. Abel, Paul S. White (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Greater understanding of the surgeon's task and skills are required to improve surgical technique and the effectiveness of training. Currently, neither the objective measurement of osteotomy forces during endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS) nor the validity of the properties of cadaver materials, are well documented. Measurement was performed of peak axial osteotomy force during ESS. A comparison was made of results with previously published cadaver data to validate the force properties of cadaver models. A prospective, consecutive cohort of 25 patients was compared with data from 15 cadaver heads. A modified Storz sinus curette measured osteotomy force from uncinate, bulla ethmoidalis, and ground lamella. Independent variables were osteotomy site, age, gender, indication for surgery, and side. Corresponding cadaver data were analyzed for the independent variables of osteotomy site, side, and gender and then compared with the live patient data. Mean osteotomy force in live patients was 9.6 N (95% CI, 8.9-10.4 N). Mean osteotomy force in the cadaver heads was 6.4 N (95% CI, 5.7-7.0 N). Ethmoid osteotomy of live patients required 3.2 N (95% CI, 2.1-4.3 N) more force than the cadaver heads (p = 0.0001). This relationship was statistically significant at the bulla ethmoidalis (p = 0.002) and the ground lamella (p = 0.0001) but not at the uncinate (p = 0.068). Osteotomy in female live subjects required 1.6 N (95% CI, 0.1-3.1 N) more force than male live subjects (p = 0.03). Cadaver tissue may underestimate the mean osteotomy force required in osteotomy of living ethmoid sinus lamellae by a factor of 1.5 times. Caution may be required in extrapolating force estimates from cadaver tissue to those required in living patients.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)e61–e65
    Number of pages5
    JournalAllergy & Rhinology
    Issue number2
    Early online date13 Dec 2012
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • Biomechanics, curette, endoscopic surgical procedures, ergonomics, force, measurement techniques, osteotomy, otolaryngology, paranasal sinuses, surgical therapy

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Engineering(all)
    • Medicine(all)


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