Metastatic Patterns in the Brain

Brain metastases are the most common nervous system tumor. These are tumors that have spread from somewhere else in the body. (The most common type of tumor starting from the brain is glioblastoma multiforme- GBM). Of metastases, tumors from the lung, breast, and skin (melanoma) are the most prevalent. Up to 40% of people with…

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Aren’t You Going to do an X-ray Today?

Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen discovered X-rays in November 1895 at the University of Wuzberg. While playing with a cathode tube containing a small window, some electromagnetic rays escaped. (Kind of reminiscent of the days when kids would play with mercury from a broken thermometer?) He covered the tube with black cardboard, but fluorescent screens captured the…

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3-D Printing Advances in Neurosurgery

3-D printing has been around for a while. Originally called “rapid prototyping”, stereolithography (SLA) was initially developed in 1980 by the Japanese. The concept never gained momentum until a few years later when American Chuck Hull invented the SLA machine, or 3D printer. This was huge for rapid prototyping of industrial products. However this never…

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Be the Ball… Hyperphantasia

In preparation for a complex neurosurgical procedure, it is very important to imagine the surgical viewpoint in order to anticipate safely approaching and treating the condition. A surgeon must foresee where related critical structures reside. It’s just like Chevy Chase’s message in Caddy Shack… “Be the ball, Danny”. For example, this is a large left…

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The Ineffectual, Inefficient, Inadequate, Insipid… Interspinous Device

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Thomas Bertram Lance’s quote from 1977 is pretty plain but very useful advice, the Interspsinous Device doesn’t follow this advice. Traditionally, the most effective treatment of lumbar stenosis (compression of the nerve roots) has been decompression with laminectomy. The early Greeks and Byzantines started performing decompressions around 300…

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