Dissection 2

We have now finished four days of the dissection project, and I am very pleased with what we have got.  The students have been great, Todd has been a steady worker, following my crazy ideas and making them real, and David Lesondak has been literally on top of things (often atop a swaying stepladder) to document both process and product in video and in photos.

It is very interesting how some things are possible in one cadaver, and impossible in another.   Bodies are so variable.

Here’s an example of the upper posterior Spiral Line we were able to dissect out of George (we name the cadavers, not their real names – it’s amazing what affection you have for them as you learn about their lives through the ‘track’ they have left – their physical form.  Millie is heartbreaking with her painted nails but no uterus; drooping transverse colon and a wicked-looking plate in her head that resulted from a brain surgery we haven’t been able to expose the cause of yet.  Richard has bad dental work and a twisted spine and a collapsed chest, but strong legs.  George has no teeth at all, but this seems not to have dimmed his appetite; we had to flense the fat off from him, and his guts were very full.  He is without a gall bladder, an operation which left many adhesions in his belly.):


On the left is the splenius capitis and cervicis, the gap in the middle shows where we were able to dissect a connection between the splenius capitis and the rhomboid minor, but were unable to get a clean fabric connection between the cervicis and the rhomboid major – a connection we were able to get easily (well, not easily but cleanly) on our previous encounter with a fresh-tissue cadaver.

On the right is the many fingered serratus anterior.  Please note the strong connection between the rhomboids and the serratus – here is a clear picture of the rhomboserratus muscle.  Here’s the kicker: the scapula has been removed from this specimen, and it does nothing to separate the rhomboids from the serratus.  Note please that I am not saying that the rhomboids or serratus don’t connect to the scapula; it’s just that they also have a strong (strong! literally) fascial connection behind the scapula that is seldom if ever listed in the books.  The scapula could easily be moved 1.5 inches either way on the rhomboserratus without the profoudn side of this connection being moved.


Here is a brilliant (I can say so, Todd did it) dissection of the Superficial Back Line from toes to nose up the back of the body – planter fascia to the left, epicranial fascia to the right.  This specimen measured 81 inches (206 cm) when laid out relaxed.  George measures about 5’7″ (67 inches, 170 cm).  This increase of nearly 20% is partially due to the addition of the plantar fascia to and epicranial fascia to the length, partially due to the straightening of the primary and secondary curves this line traverses.


Finally, the Superficial Back Arm Line.  In this case we included the trapezius on both sides (easily dissected together, though you can see the holes in the very thin aponeurosis  between the middle trapezii), with the rest of the line running down the right side only: deltoid, lateral intermuscular septum, and his strong extensors (maybe he rode a Harley?) leading to the backs of his fingers.

Everyone is punch drunk on this fourth day – the initial enthusiasm worn down by the smell of formaldehyde, the vague aroma (and accoutrements) of a butcher shop, the bending over the table, the exacting and slowly progressing work.

Meanwhile, in the background, we are working toward my goal for this workshop: the Deep front Line from ankle to jaw in a fresh tissue extraction.  Stay tuned.


One Response to “Dissection 2”

  1. Carrie Gaynor Says:


    Thank you so much for posting your story. I am in love with the rhombo-serratus in the above photo. Its a beauty, as is the DFL (spectacular) on next page.

    The story of the interosseous membrane takes the cake – biotensegrity all the way babe! Great to hear that Phil came to the program.


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