How to choose surgical saw blades? Where are they used?

Surgical saw blade is used in the shaping of bone with hard surfaces in the surgical field. These medical instruments, which are made of stainless steel and are mostly disposable, must be used with electrical, air or battery operated surgical power tool systems. Surgical saw blades perform the cutting process with the power coming from the device, by oscillating or forward-backward (reciprocal) motion. So how to choose surgical saw blades? Where are they used? In this article, we will answer these questions.

In which operations are surgical saw blades used?

Saw blades are used in various operations according to thickness, length and width characteristics. Examples are as follows.


Knee, Hip, Shoulder Replacement Surgeries


Plate and Nails

ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament), Hand, Foot and Wrist Surgery

Finger, Foot Implants , Ankle Arthroplasty , Wrist Joint Replacement

Plastic Bone Surgery

Maxillofacial Trauma

Amputation Surgery / Hip Replacement Surgery

Surgical removal of part of the body, such as an arm or leg

Cardiac Surgery

Open Heart Surgery Chest Opening Procedure

How to choose surgical saw blades?

Choosing a surgical saw blade is very important, especially in knee arthroplasty surgeries. In other saw blade selections, there is a demand for blades in suitable sizes for the operation to be performed by the doctor. The presence of a cutting block (guide) in knee arthroplasty makes the choice of thickness important. If the blade is not selected in accordance with the cutting block, either it will not pass through the guide or a straight cut cannot be made because it is too thin.

The meanings of declared dimensions for surgical saw blades are as follows.

  1. Cut Edge: The width of the blade measured from the outside base of the two extreme teeth.
    – Surgeons decide according to the surgical characteristics or, if available, the recommended blade size in the implant surgical technique.
    – Main 3 dimensions for knee arthroplasty; It is 13mm (Thin), 19mm (Medium) and 25mm (Wide).

  2. Cut Depth: The actual depth attainable, not the overall blade length, while making a cut.
    – Usually 90 mm is used for knee operations.
    – Usually 70 mm is used for hip operations.
    – But sometimes companies or hospitals want 90 mm for both operations to reduce stock costs. Because 90 mm can be used in both surgeries. But 70 mm is a short length to use in knee surgeries. Because there is the cutting block factor.

  3. Thickness : The distance between the top and the bottom of the stainless steel.
    – The thickness is determined by the thickness of cutting guide. And the cutting guide space thickness is changing according to the prosthesis (implants) brand. The doctors decide the thickness according the prosthesis brand of the cutting guide that they use or according to the process related the surgery. It is explained which blade thickness to use as a recommendation in the surgical technique of the implant to be inserted.
    – The blade thickness shouldn’t be so much thinner than cutting guide, because the blade can move in the cutting guide while oscilating process. And also the blade thickness shouldn’t be thicker than the cutting guide, Because the blade can rub to the cutting guide or the blade may not get in to the cutting guide.

Cutting Block (Guide)

Surgical technique recommendation table example

         4. Connection point: It is the connection part that shows which surgical power tools brand and model it is compatible with.
         – Each brand of power tools has a unique blade connection point design. Choosing a blade suitable for your surgical power tool system is very important in blade selection. If the saw blade is not fully inserted into the power tools, disruptions may occur in the surgical process.


If purchasing department of hospital will make the purchase of surgical saw blades, they must first consult with the surgeon. The surgeon can determine the blade dimensions from the surgical technique document of the implant to be applied. If the surgeon is unable to obtain this information, he or she should request information from the implant and saw blade manufacturers about where to find this information. There may be slight millimetric differences between the blade sizes of the manufacturers. For example, the cut edge is 19 mm on one blade and 19.5 mm on another blade. These differences do not make a difference in use because the surgical motor is managed by human hands. However, this 0.5 mm difference in thickness can cause problems. The difference in thickness should be a maximum of 0.3 mm.

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