The Use of an Ultrasonic Serrated Knife in Transcanal Excision of Exostoses

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To describe a novel approach for excision of exostoses and evaluate the outcomes of transcanal excision of exostoses using ultrasonic serrated knife-assistance versus microosteotomes only.

Study Design:

Retrospective analysis.


Academic Tertiary Care Center.


Patients receiving a transcanal excision of exostoses between 2007 and 2016.

Main Outcome Measures:

The outcomes and postoperative complications of 138 patients who received transcanal microosteotome only technique were compared to 10 patients who received transcanal excision of exostoses using ultrasonic serrated knife-assistance (Stryker Corporation, Kalamazoo, MI).


A total of 175 ears in 128 patients underwent a transcanal microosteotome only technique. Of these, 11 (6.3%) developed an intraoperative tympanic membrane perforation. One developed anterior canal mobilization requiring prolonged (3 wk) packing. One hundred thirty-five ears (77%) were well healed by the 3-week postoperative visit. All but one ear was well healed by the 6-week visit. In comparison, 11 ears in 10 patients were treated for exostoses using a transcanal approach with the use of ultrasonic serrated knife and microosteotomes. One ear canal (the first in the series) was not well healed by the 3-week postoperative visit due to suspected thermal injury. All patients had well-healed ear canals by 6 weeks, and there were no complications.


This is the first series to report the use of an ultrasonic serrated knife in the transcanal excision of exostoses. When compared with a transcanal microosteotome only excision of exostoses, the addition of the Sonopet seems to result in a similarly low complication rate. Sonopet can allow for more controlled transcanal excision of broad-based exostoses in patients with severe obstruction.

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