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Proposed procedural algorithm for the cost-effective use of cadaveric torsos in the training of neurosurgical residents
  1. William Clifton1,
  2. Steven Edwards1,
  3. Aaron Damon2,
  4. Conrad Dove2,
  5. Mark Pichelmann1,
  6. Eric Nottmeier1
  1. 1 Department of Neurosurgery, Mayo Clinic Florida, Jacksonville, Florida, USA
  2. 2 Department of Education, Mayo Clinic Florida, Jacksonville, Florida, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr William Clifton, Department of Neurosurgery, Mayo Clinic Florid, Jacksonville FL 32224, USA; clifton.william{at}

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Educational adjuncts in the training of neurosurgical residents have become an important part of residency programme curricula due to the requirements of clinical duties and the institution of work hour restrictions.1 2 Cadaveric simulation is a prevalent method for teaching neurosurgical trainees basic and complex procedures.3 4 Cadaveric handling requires a dedicated centre for tissue storage and care, which increases institutional costs in order to support personnel and equipment for maintenance of laboratory space.4 5 Cadaveric tissue is relatively expensive and has limited repeated use. Because of these limiting factors, procedures that require significant disruption of the intrinsic anatomy may negate the capacity for subsequent anatomical landmarks or procedures to be demonstrated. In this manuscript, we propose a stepwise and ordered operative curriculum to provide the most efficient use of cadaveric torso specimens in the training of neurosurgical residents. This curriculum was developed at our institution and is currently in practice for trainees.


Five frozen human cadaveric torsos devoid of extremities were acquired for the purposes of neurosurgical training. Each specimen had a complete sacral, lumbar and thoracic spine. A stepwise algorithm was developed for maximal use of the cadaveric tissue based on desired procedures to be performed …

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  • Contributors All included authors were integral in the concept, design, development, and institution of this study and manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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