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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How an Early Case of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Could Have Prevented More Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, but Ended Up Creating More…

Carpal tunnel syndrome is commonly considered an “over-use syndrome”. Repetitive activities may aggravate compression of the median nerve in the wrist by the transverse carpal ligament, manifesting as pain, tingling, numbness, and/or weakness of the hand. Chronic handwriting or computer typing can provoke the symptoms. In the 1930s after the Great Depression, Chester Carlson was…

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Transcranial Electric Stimulation

Transcranial electric stimulation (tES) is a noninvasive brain stimulation technique, passing an electric current into the brain through the scalp, to alter brain function. In contrast to other brain stimulation techniques, like transcranial magnetic stimulation, the current in Transcranial electric stimulation (tES) is not very powerful and maintains subthreshold levels to only affect the cortex…

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Fast and Furious Fractures

In 1885 the first seatbelt patent was granted to Edward Claghorn, as a way to keep tourists safe in New York City as they rode in taxis. In 1961, Wisconsin became the first state to require seatbelts in new cars. In 1968, both lap and shoulder belts were mandated in all new automobiles. However, it…

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You Must Be Smokin’ Something…

During both brain and spine surgery, we use electrocautery to control bleeding.  Bipolar cautery creates a circuit between the forcep tips, and the electric current flows smoothly between the active and return electrode.  Only minimal and focal patient tissue, in between the tips, is exposed to the current.  Monopolar cautery, however, creates a circuit between…

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