After many years of trying manual saws and electric saws (Stryker, band,
etc) with a variety of adaptations (from meatball tongs to handmade
templates) to hold femoral heads, ect....We went back to what a fellow
PA (thanks Russ J.) brought to our institution, and to what an older
pathologist once showed me.
We split bones with a SHARP heavy duty knife (similar to the old autopsy
knives that are thick, and which look like a wedge.) This is used with a
heavy metal mallet. IT MUST BE DONE ON A SOLID SURFACE. We use a thick
triangular piece of plexiglass, with two short sides and a base
constructed to fit on the corner of our Gross Lab, and a thick rubber
adhesive mat over this.
With practice, one can get sections that are thin enough to be cassetted
and decalcified without further handling. You also eliminate the bone
dust in your sections and in the air.
Paul M. Earle M.S., P.A. (ASCP)
Anatomic Pathology Supervisor
100 Ter Heun Drive
Falmouth, MA 02540
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