Dissection 3

This continues as the most successful dissection in which I have been fortunate to participate in terms of the learning obtained.

• Fabulous group of students who are doing great work (special mention here to Daphne Mosko, who unraveled the foot for all to see).

• Luck with the condition of the cadavers (although Todd may have something to do with this, even though he says he can’t control what they send him).

• Todd’s focus and consummate skill at the table, not to mention his willingness to set aside the conventions of dissection to patiently entertain my ignorant fumblings for a new order.

• David Lesondak’s skill with the cameras, allowing us to retain the memory for ourselves and share it with others

• Eric Root’s microscopic explorations of the interaction between fibers, glue, capillaries, lymph vessels at various levels of stretch and at various levels in the body, giving us a whole new dimension between gooey and Guimberteau.

• And I am not forgetting Penelope’s informed guidance of the students, Michelle’s slaving over a hot sink to wash away the blood, poop, and fat from the towels, J.C’s willingness to lean over a stinky mass of guts to reveal the mesenteric tree, and everyone else’s cooperating to stop what they are doing to let me video the results of all our work.  Thanks to everyone!

Yesterday the traditional calvarium cuts were made to reveal brains and dura; today will be largely show-and-tell as we bring things to a close, so here are a few of the pictures from the last couple of days:

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Fascia, fascia everywhere, nor any drop to drink…

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The lower half of the Superficial Front Line (SFL) – this guy had some quads on him!  Very hard to retain the fascia going over the tibia on this specimen – it was there and came up fine and clear, but as soon as you bring it away from the underlying bone, in seconds it curls up and dyes like a hairdresser.  Even the interosseous membrane between the tibia and fibula – surely a strong, bilaminar, tough-stuff structure – almost disappears into gossamer as soon as it is removed.  Long live biotrensegrity! (This is a convincing correlate of the tensegrity concept – funnily, it gives me new appreciation for the role and shape of bone in stretching the tensegrity into shape – Grandma’s orthogonal rack, I believe Ron McComb callled it, referring to Ida Rolf.)

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The upper Superficial Front Line from the pubic symphysis (left) up through the rectus (and yes, he had a diastasis – spreading of the linea alba – like a pregnant woman, but this fellow was ‘pregnant’ with overeating) to the SCM on the right.  The kicker for me came in the middle, which we preserved on his right side only.  Some of my readers will know I have puzzled over the connection between the rectus and the SCM in the SFL, searching through sternalis (which despite the great example in the pervious post is often too flimsy to serve) and the sternal fascia (which works, but is too narrow to convey the full mechanical force.

So this time we left the proximal portion of the pectoralis major in place.  This created a great connection, but would break the Anatomy Trains ‘rules’ since the muscle fibers of the pectoralis run counter to the direction of the line (expressed by the rectus and SCM).  So imagine out surprise when we turned the specimen over and found plenty of vertical fascial fibers embedded into the posterior side of the pectoralis.  Anatomy Trains rules may be made to be broken, but this was victory enough for me: Anatomy Trains rules! (maniacal laughter echoes down the corridor…)
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The Superficial Back Line from a fresh-tissue cadaver.  This specimen, relaxed, measured 81 inches; the cadaver, relaxed, stood at about 5′ 7″ or so.  Fromt left: Epicranial fascia from eyebrow to nuchal line, erector spinae (and some transversospinalis) to sacral fascia, the isthmus of the sacrotuberous ligament leading to the hamstrings intertwined with the gastrocs and around the calcaneus to the plantar aponeurosis.

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And finally, a first: The Deep Front (core) line from a fresh tissue cadaver.  Deep toe flexors at the bottom, joined across the back of the knee to the adductors across the groin with the psoas complex (from here on up we have both sides) to the diaphragm and mediastinum, and finally up to the bat ears of the temporalis muscle joined to the jaw.  The mandible and hyoid are the only bones in this specimen, and there are no breaks from the inner ankle to the underside of the skull. This ancient creature lives inside us, one and all.

Thanks again to one and all.  This was such a team effort.

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