Home » Musuem » Week 18 Volunteering at the Royal College of Surgeons

Week 18 Volunteering at the Royal College of Surgeons

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

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

So this is my last week for two weeks. Next Thursday I have my cousins wedding and the week after I’m off to Spain for a week for a bit of a break! This week I wanted to get through quite a bit to make up for the lost time over the next couple of weeks and I think I did quite well.

I’m still working on the bones that have been selected for teaching so they are relatively easy to sort. This week I had clavicles, sternums, ribs and I made a start on some vertebrae.

I have always had some trouble siding clavicles as I never had many to sort or identify whilst at university. However, after today I feel a lot happier and confident with this and I hope that I can remember my tools for siding in the future. When attempting to side a clavicle I always try to identify the medial or sternal end and the lateral end. This is fairly simple as the medial end is rounded whilst the lateral is flattened. I then try to work out which way is up, the superior surface, which is much smoother than the inferior surface which has sites for muscle attachment. Finally, to check that I have assigned the correct side I look at the curve of the bone. From the medial end the front apex of the curve goes forward and out. This then curves back before finally kicking out again at the lateral end. It sounds fairly straight forward when written down but it is definitely harder when the bone is in front of you!

I then moved on to the sternums and ribs. The ribs were very easy and involved complete sets, with some including sternums. The box of individual sternums were much more varied in comparison. Some sternum were fused whilst others only had their manubrium or bodies present. There were some pathologies present with bone growth on the coastal notches. Sternums are quite an odd shape, unlike all other bones in the human body. It is flat and particularly odd looking when all of the parts have not fused. This lack of fusion is not unusual and doesn’t necessarily signify a problem. There was only one feature that I had seen before present on one body of a sternum. This was a hole that was clearly not evidence of trauma. I asked the curator about this and she said although it is not very common it also is not unusual. I don’t know why this happens but I suspect it’s a similar trait which can occur in the olecrannon fossa of the humerus, which again results in a hole in the bone.

In addition to my day sorting bones I met the newly elected president of the college, Miss Clare Marx. She was being taken on a tour of various parts of the museum and it’s places of storage. It was also the last day of one of the members of staff at the college, Kristin Hussey, the assistant curator of the museum. I spoke to her quite a lot whilst having lunch and I’ll miss our chats. She also is the co-writer for the museum blog the Ministry of Curiosity. However, she’s going on to do a PhD and I think she’ll be around the college to do some research. I wish her the best of luck and hopefully I’ll bump into her again one day!


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