Tools of the trade: Synthes Unium System 


Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

small bone power tools for veterinarian

by Dr Max Tori, Bendigo Animal Hospital, VIC 

We have a solid caseload of orthopaedic surgery even though we’re a general clinic and not a specialist clinic. I use the Unium system for most of my plating, TPLOs, patella surgery and similar types of orthopaedic procedures.

What’s good about it

The Unium modular handpiece has a range of attachments that can be used in a variety of situations. Previously, I was using a large, clunky handpiece that was more difficult to operate. The Unium system is lightweight with a smooth, powerful drive. All the attachments—the oscillating saw, TPLO saw, K wire driver, AO quick coupling and Jacobs chuck—are easy to interchange in the middle of surgery. They’re all quick release so it’s very straightforward to swap them out.

The handpiece is battery powered and more powerful than our previous model. They used to recommend having two batteries with the old one. The Unium will easily complete everything it needs to do with one fully charged battery.

We’ve owned this system since January 2023 and had absolutely no issues with it. It’s easy to clean and hasn’t skipped a beat. The handpiece and all the attachments can be autoclaved, provided you remove the battery first and follow the autoclaving instructions.

If you own the previous Synthes model, the Colibri II, all the attachments can be used with the new handpiece except for the K wire driver. The Unium is a huge improvement over what we had previously been using.

What’s not so good

We didn’t purchase the recommended handpiece sterilisation basket as it wouldn’t fit into our benchtop autoclave. It’s worthwhile checking the dimensions of your autoclave before buying the sterilisation basket. When fitting the battery into the handpiece, the locking mechanism is a little bit clunky. It works fine and doesn’t come undone but closing it aseptically is a bit fiddly.

Where did you get it


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