Patients undergoing a percutaneous bone biopsy often complain of pain during needle insertion, despite local anesthesia. Bone biopsy needles are typically inserted with combined axial and twisting motions. These motions could cause pain through frictional heating or direct mechanical irritation. The hypothesis of this study is that the insertion energy of bone biopsy needles can be reduced by modifying the insertion kinetics or by adding a friction-lowering coating to the needles. Jamshidi bone biopsy needles were driven into a bone analog model by an MTS materials testing machine operating under axial and rotational displacement control. The load/torque recordings showed that, to significantly decrease insertion energy and peak resistance to needle insertion, axial velocity and angular frequency had to be decreased to one quarter of the baseline, typical-usage parameters. However, the increased insertion time may not be acceptable clinically. The majority of the insertion energy was associated with the needle axial thrust rather than with needle twisting. Overcoming friction against the side of the needle consumed much more of the insertion energy than did the process of cutting per se. None of five needle coatings tested succeeded in appreciably lowering the insertion energy, and none achieved a substantial decrease in peak resisting force.

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