Fully and Partially Customized K-Wire Threading Solutions

Kirschner wires pins can be smooth, partially threaded or fully threaded.

Custom Threading Details

The distance between the threads is called “pitch”.

  • Partially threaded k-wires typically have deeper threads, greater pitch, and larger thread diameter.
  • Fully threaded k-wires usually have a smaller thread diameter and pitch.
  • Threaded Kirschner wires are associated with a more traumatic insertion than smooth K-wires, but they’re less likely to loosen over time.

There are different processes used to achieve stainless steel Kirschner Wire threading and nitinol threading. In order to achieve consistent thread designs for nitinol, a diamond coated wheel must be used to eliminate wheel wear. If you are doing small runs of threaded nitinol k-wires please be aware that the NRE charge might be high. Make sure to ask your custom K-Wire manufacturer what thread designs would be easiest to achieve if you are flexible with the thread design.

Drilling versus Hammering

Hammering K-wires is Superior to Drilling with Irrigation, by B. Franssen, A. Schuurman, P. Brouha and M. Kon, (2008).
An abstract comparing temperature elevation, insertion time and required extraction force to three Kirschner wire insertion techniques: drilling with irrigation, drilling without irrigation and pneumatic hammering. Read full paper.

The following surgical tips (from AO Foundation – an online surgical database) may offer helpful advice during k-wire drilling procedures:

  • A power drill will generally exert a smaller and more controlled force on fragments than manual drilling.
  • Power drilling (versus manual drilling or hammering) will reduce the risk of displacing fragments.
  • A small power drill with slow rotation may be preferable.
  • If not using self-tapping screws, manually tap the drill hole.
  • If a drill guide is used, attach a nut to the drill bit to limit penetration to the desired length only.
  • To check the position of the drill bit’s tip, use image intensification.
  • To minimize thermal injury, use Ringer lactate solution to cool the drill bit.