These two instruments, the pencil burr and cotton-tipped suction needles (Figure), have been a great help to me in obtaining adequate exposure of the footplate and a dry field in stapes mobilization surgery. In tympanoplasties the moistened cotton-tipped suction needles make delicate dissectors for elevating the squamous epithelium from the drum remnants and canal wall.
The pencil burr consists of a small burr placed in a universal chuck handle as used for a laryngeal mirror (or formerly the lead burr). By rotating this burr between the fingers it acts as a rotating curette to remove the bone of the canal and expedite the exposure of the footplate. The 1- or 1.5-mm.-long shanked cutting burr is far more rapid than the curette but leaves some bone chips. The 1 or 1.5 mm. polishing burr is smoother and leaves no bone chips; it does, however, become clogged and requires changing.
FARRIOR JB. Stapes Mobilization and Tympanoplasty Instruments: 1. The Pencil Burr 2. Cotton-Tipped Suction Needles. AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1958;67(5):630. doi:10.1001/archotol.1958.00730010644026
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