• Edward F. McCarthyJr.


The hardness of bone introduces three challenges that are unique to the dissection of bone specimens: (1) Many lesions involving bone are not easily appreciated simply by palpating and inspecting the intact specimen. This inability to pinpoint the lesion may frustrate attempts to demonstrate its size and location when cutting the bone specimen. (2) Bone specimens cannot be easily dissected and sampled with standard knives and scalpels. (3) Since the microtome blade also cannot penetrate bone, bone cannot easily be sectioned in the histology laboratory. Fortunately, each of these obstacles can be overcome. Specimen radiographs (Table 18–1) allow one to visualize the extent and location of the pathologic process so that the specimen can be cut in the proper plane; appropriate saws (Table 18–2) allow one to cut bone without destroying the specimen; and finally, special solutions (Table 18–3) can demineralize bone making it easier to section for microscopic evaluation. Thus, the successful dissection of bone speci-mens requires that the prosector master the use of radiography, special techniques, instruments, and a variety of chemical solutions.


Femoral Head Segmental Resection Bone Specimen Bone Margin Intact Specimen 


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

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  • Edward F. McCarthyJr.

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