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A rongeur is a strongly constructed instrument with a sharp-edged, scoop-shaped tip, used for gouging out bone. Rongeur is a French word that means rodent or 'gnawer'.[1] A rongeur can be used to open a window in bone, often in the skull. It is used in neurosurgery, podiatric surgery, and orthopedic surgery to expose areas for operation.[2]

A rongeur is also used in oral maxillofacial surgery. It is also used in hand surgery to cut traumatic amputated bone to allow skin to be closed over the defect.[citation needed]

A rongeur can also be used in cadaver dissection lab to break through ribs when removing the anterior chest wall.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Random House Dictionary of the English Language. Second Edition, Unabridged. Random House, Inc. New York 1987. ISBN 0-394-50050-4; 0-394-56500-2 deluxe ed.
  2. ^ Vertosick, Frank Jr. When the Air Hits Your Brain. New York: Fawcett Books 1996. ISBN 0-449-22713-8 Library of Congress Catalog Number: 96-91010