RE: [Histonet] Re: Bone saw

From:"Marshall Terry Dr, Consultant Histopathologist"

 "(Meanwhile, down the hall, the radiology department just bought a
64-slice CT scanner, their toy of the year. The red-haired

It's one of the strangest facts of life that radiologists can get what
they want, just to see shadows. Millions - no problem, but a few measly
thousand spent in pathology, where the real diagnoses are made - sharp
intake of breath with a "not so sure about that".


PS The recurring problem of sawing bones drives me nuts. The sawing bit
is easy, you just need a saw, it's the holding of the bone that's the

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of
Sent: 11 April 2007 17:02
Subject: [Histonet] Re: Bone saw

Most surgical pathologists cut bone with an electric Stryker oscillating
saw, since their autopsy service usually has one. These really aren't
suitable for surgical pathology, since it's difficult to hold the
specimen down, particularly if you don't have a bench vise.
I've always relied on hand-held saws. The old Satterlee amputation saw,
of Civil War (1861-65) vintage, is the usual saw available. (I've twice
seen these in Civil War re-enactor hospitals, complete with chrome
plating, right like they come from whatever Lipshaw is called this
Many small surgical pathology services have no saw of any kind. When I
work one of these services, I go to a hardware store and spend five
dollars on a hacksaw, and leave it behind when I go.
An elegant variation on the hacksaw is the "Sawbones", which combines a
sturdy clamp with two parallel long hacksaw blades that cut a slab of a
femoral head a few mm thick. It's rather overpriced at about $500,
prohibitively expensive for something the pathologist is actually going
to have his hands on. 
The bone pathologist at Johns Hopkins recommends a tabletop scroll saw.
These cost about $200. They're supposed to be quite safe, but they have
too large a footprint for the usual cramped surgical pathology lab.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN
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