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Table of Contents    
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 64  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 814-815

Wooden spinal model for teaching and training

Department of Neurosurgery, Institute of Human Behavior and Allied Sciences, New Delhi - 110 095, India

Date of Web Publication5-Jul-2016

Correspondence Address:
Deepak Kumar Jha
Department of Neurosurgery, Institute of Human Behavior and Allied Sciences, New Delhi - 110 095
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0028-3886.185367

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How to cite this article:
Jha DK. Wooden spinal model for teaching and training. Neurol India 2016;64:814-5

How to cite this URL:
Jha DK. Wooden spinal model for teaching and training. Neurol India [serial online] 2016 [cited 2020 May 29];64:814-5. Available from:


Various conferences and workshops are organized in the field of spine surgery which help in the teaching and training of young spinal surgeons. However, demonstration of live surgeries and hands-on workshops utilizing cadavers or saw-bone models of the spine are a step forward in the teaching and training of young spinal surgeons. Two-dimensional photographs of the spine in textbooks or images in the electronic formats fail to provide the three-dimensional (3D) conceptualization of anatomy of the spine, especially during the early phases of our training. An average whole-spine model made up of saw-bone costs around USD 600–1000. Similarly, except in medical colleges, cadaveric adult spines are difficult to obtain for teaching or training purposes. Electronic 3D spine models for computers are equally costly and are inferior to saw-bone models or cadaveric spines.

The author understood the difficulties encountered by the trainee residents of neurology and neurosurgery departments, especially in the understanding the 3 D anatomy of the craniovertebral junction, with relation to the course of the vertebral artery and the orientation of the facet joints, and in illustrating the range of relative motion of the joints in this location. Wooden models of C1 and C2 vertebrae were made by the author himself, for the purpose of teaching trainee residents, taking note of their difficulties in understanding the complex bony and vascular (vertebral artery) anatomy of this location [Figure 1]. Soft wood of garden waste was used to make these models, and necessary carvings were done using basic hardware instruments such as a knife, files and hand-held drill. Wooden dust was used to fill up the unwanted gaps and to give shape to the spine. Superglue, commonly known as cyanoacrylate (Fevikwik ®), easily available at stationary or hardware stores, was used for hardening and joining pieces that represented the dens, bifid spine of C2 and transverse processes of C1 and C2. Red-colored, malleable, insulated electrical wire was used for displaying the course of the vertebral arteries. The author has also made a wooden spinal model [Figure 2], not representing any particular vertebral level, mainly for explaining the disease to patients and their relatives.
Figure 1: Wooden model of C1 (a) and C2 (b) vertebrae with red-colored, malleable electric wires for depiction of vertebral arteries. Lateral (c), anterior (d), and posterior (e) views of the assembled model of C1-2 vertebra with the course of vertebral arteries being displayed

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Figure 2: Posterior (a), anterior (b), posterior oblique (c), and anterior oblique (d) views of the wooden model of nonspecific three vertebrae painted in white color. The spinal cord and exiting nerve roots depicted by a wooden stick and thick cotton threads, respectively, are colored in yellow color. Discs are represented byathin sheet of foam between the vertebral bodies

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Cost-effective innovations, such as this wooden spine model, are the need of the hour, especially for neurosurgical training in resource deficient public sector hospitals in developing countries like India.[1],[2]

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Ganapathy K. Neurosurgery in India: An Overview. World Neurosurg 2013;79:621-8.  Back to cited text no. 1
Nadkarni TD, Goel A, Pandya SK. Neurosurgery in India. J Postgrad Med 2002;48:332.  Back to cited text no. 2


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]


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