Tools of the trade: Synthes Colibri II drill


Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

multi-purpose surgical drill

by Dr Howard Thompson, Blayney Vets, NSW

This drill is manufactured by Synthes, the manufacturing arm of AO, the organisation for osteosynthesis located in Switzerland. Over the years, AO has conducted much research that has resulted in varied technical innovations. About five years ago, I saw this drill being demonstrated at a TPLO workshop in Sydney. I was impressed with it and purchased one.

What’s good about it

Other drills I’ve used have been bulky and cumbersome but the Colibri II is very lightweight. It’s autoclaveable and doesn’t require shrouds to cover the exterior. There’s a large range of quick-fit attachments that click on and off very easily. When doing a TPLO, there are four attachments that are used. It’s easy to switch from the radial saw to the pin driver to the drill bit to the drill applicator or drill attachment driver. Two small metal flanges are pushed in to click attachments off and on. The drill can be used for all orthopaedic surgery.

It’s battery powered and comes with a recharge unit. We have two batteries so we just swap them over. The drill is very powerful and care needs to be taken when running long bone screws into bone. Some of the locking screws are 50 millimetres in length and it’s quite tedious to screw them in by hand. I just fix the screwdriver to the handpiece and touch the trigger lightly so it runs the screws in slowly. It completes the task easily and quickly, and saves your wrist from strain.

What’s not so good

Using the crescentic saw blades in the Colibri II for making curved cuts in bone requires a somewhat different wrist and forearm action compared with other commonly used saws.

Where did you get it



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