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High-speed, rotating bone-cutting instruments such as circular saws, drills, reamers, etc., have not been universally taken advantage of in bone surgery because of the fact that some sterile means of driving these instruments must be provided. The flexible cable-driving shaft, of the type formerly used by dentists, is not entirely practicable because it is prone to "freeze" or break; there is little freedom of motion because the motor must be kept away from the operative field; and also since it has but little weight, the saw will often override and slip unless considerable pressure is used.
Surgical and electric instrument makers have attempted to produce a practical sterilizable electric motor for the purpose of directly attaching the cutting instruments to it; but even these costly enamel wire motors are unreliable, and are apt to develop short circuits and other ills after boiling. Being acquainted with the small, light electric hand-drills
Stern WG. A STERILE ELECTRIC ENGINE FOR BONE-CUTTING. JAMA. 1914;LXII(14):1087-1088. doi:10.1001/jama.1914.25610390001016