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Another Day at the Royal College of Surgeons

Outside of the Royal College of Surgeons. Image taken rom http://nobelbiocare-eyearcourse.com/fgdp.html.

Outside of the Royal College of Surgeons. Image taken rom http://nobelbiocare-eyearcourse.com/fgdp.html.

I know I’m a few days behind writing this up but let’s just say I’ve had a busy week! On Thursday I was at the RCS again going through multiple boxes of human bones and making a record of them. Like the past few weeks we’ve managed to get through a number of boxes of varying specimens and there were some interesting ones!

We had one box which contained a number of bones which would be ideal for teaching the aging process in juveniles. This was because some of the bones had epiphysises which weren’t fused to the main body or were in the process of fusing. This means that some of the specimens were perfect of illustrating the differences in the aging process of juveniles and adults as well as being a perfect example of how this process occurs.

Anther box of particular interest contained examples of pathologies. Many of these had some form of bone growth and in places I hadn’t seen before. For example there was one pelvis which had small bony protrusions in theobturator foramen (see image below). I’m not entirely what these are a result of but I will do a little digging and see what I can find out! We also had a couple of vertebrae which had fused together, as well as other signs of bone growth, and had a slight curve (although this was difficult to fully assess as we only had a few thoracic vertebrae). Oh and I nearly forgot to mention that on this box of pathologies there was a sticker which read something along the lines of ‘pathology assessed and described by Prof DonOrtner’. Well that basically made my day! If you know anything about bones then you would have come across Ortner at some point and I was amazed that I was potentially handling some specimens donated by the man himself!

The Pelvis showing the location of the Obturator Foramen. Image taken from: http://www.studyblue.com/notes/note/n/anat-1-study-guide-2012-13-clifford/deck/9723196 and slightly modified.

The Pelvis showing the location of the Obturator Foramen. Image taken from: http://www.studyblue.com/notes/note/n/anat-1-study-guide-2012-13-clifford/deck/9723196 and slightly modified.

All of these were extremely interesting boxes to sort through but we did also have one surprise box! The curator didn’t tell us what was in the box so we opened it with some interest and it was amazing what we found – a complete pelvic girdle with preserved ligaments holding it together! It was amazing! I have never seen anything like this before – other than as a cast or replica. Whoever preserved this specimen did a wonderful job and it was really cool seeing the pelvis as a whole. One other find in this box blew me away – it was a complete neonate cranium. What can I say – it was beautiful! It was so light and delicate and even had the membrane (soft spot) at the top of the head. Again, the preservation was amazing and it was an amazing specimen. It’s days like these that reminds me to keeping trying for that perfect job, working with bones!

 

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