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 Table of Contents  
SHORT COMMUNICATION ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 267-269

Adaptable skull stand: An indigenous innovation


1 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University College Hospital, Ibadan and College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
2 Department of Ophthalmology, University College Hospital, Ibadan and College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

Date of Web Publication21-Dec-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Bolutife A Olusanya
Department of Ophthalmology, University of Ibadan, Ibadan
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/npmj.npmj_103_18

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  Abstract 

The aim of this report is to describe the structure and advantages of an innovative and indigenous device, the adaptable skull stand, which serves the purpose of holding a skull model steady in a variety of positions without the need for an assistant.

Keywords: Device, innovation, surgical demonstration, skull stand


How to cite this article:
Olusanya AA, Olusanya BA. Adaptable skull stand: An indigenous innovation. Niger Postgrad Med J 2018;25:267-9

How to cite this URL:
Olusanya AA, Olusanya BA. Adaptable skull stand: An indigenous innovation. Niger Postgrad Med J [serial online] 2018 [cited 2019 Jun 18];25:267-9. Available from: http://www.npmj.org/text.asp?2018/25/4/267/248203


  Introduction Top


Skull stands serve the purpose of supporting a human skull model for display or practical demonstration of operative and non-operative procedures.[1] They are particularly useful in craniofacial surgery, a subspecialty which requires diverse demonstrations and practical sessions during training. Demonstration of fracture patterns, extent of lesions in a three-dimensional perspective and procedures such as orbital wall reconstruction, jaw reconstruction, dental injections, tooth extractions, dental wiring, bone plating and various osteosynthesis methods require the use of a skull model as an integral part of training.[2],[3],[4]

Skull models are useful in the conduct of practical examinations to objectively evaluate the skills of students and trainees.[5],[6] To perform surgical demonstrations or practical examinations smoothly, the skull model needs to be kept stable and adjustable to allow adequate visualisation of various techniques on it. At present, in Nigeria, skull stands that ensure such stability of the skull model are not readily available because they are expensive and costly to import. Those that are available are more appropriate for the non-surgical dental specialties, for example, restorative dentistry. Examples of such stands are the Frasaco phantom head mounting device by National Trading Company,[7] and other phantom head mounting devices marketed by Buyamag, Inc.[8] and Nissin Dental Products, Inc.[9]

Therefore, the present state of training and demonstrations in oral and maxillofacial surgery is commonly limited to placing the skull model on a flat surface, usually a table top and engaging an assistant to hold it down. This exposes such assistants to the risk of accidental injury from surgical instruments. The aim of this report is to describe the structure and advantages of an innovative and indigenous device, the adaptable skull stand (ASS).

Description of the innovation

ASS is made up of seven metallic components [Figure 1]. These are the baseplate (1), the standing rod (2), the support rod for the depressor rod (3), adjustment ring for the depressor rod (4), the depressor rod (5), skull clamp screws (6) and the adjustment screw (7). All the components are made of iron.
Figure 1: A side view of the adaptable skull stand showing the components of the stand without a skull model mounted: baseplate (1), standing rod (2), support rod for the depressor rod (3), adjustment ring for the depressor rod (4), depressor rod (5), skull clamp screws (6) and the adjustment screw (7)

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The baseplate (1) is a flat metal baseplate measuring 24 cm by 24 cm. It serves as the base support for the stand. Connected to the baseplate is the standing rod (2), which is an angulated metal rod with a screw threading at the upper angulated end. It is 29 cm long and 1.4 cm in diameter. Furthermore, connected to the baseplate is the support rod (3) for the depressor rod (5).

The support rod is a metal rod 20 cm long and 1.0 cm in diameter. It is placed in front of the standing rod, and the distance between them is 8 cm. At the upper end of the support rod is the adjustment ring (4) for the depressor rod. The adjustment ring is made of metal and serves as a fulcrum point between the depressor rod and the support rod. It enables the adjustment of the height of the depressor rod. The depressor rod is a metal rod that has a curved tip (hook) at the upper end. It is 18.5 cm long and 0.5 cm thick. The curved upper end of the depressor rod engages the central region of the lower jaw, and the depression of the lower jaw can be adjusted using the adjustment ring. This enables the extent of jaw opening to be modified during demonstrations on the skull model [Figure 2].
Figure 2: (a) Front view of the adaptable skull stand with a skull mounted on it and (b) side view of the adaptable skull stand with a skull mounted on it

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The skull model is held in place and steadied by the skull clamp screws (6), which consist of a double screw clamp that is located on the upper end of the standing rod. One screw engages the standing rod from within the vault of the skull model while the counterpart screw engages the standing rod under the skull model. Movements of the skull model in sagittal and coronal planes are affected by manipulation of the adjustment screw (7).


  Discussion Top


ASS is an indigenous design that is simple, adjustable and adaptable to any type of human skull model. It allows the skull model to be held steadily in a constant position during practical demonstrations without the need for an assistant to hold the skull model in place. It also allows movements of the skull model in both sagittal and coronal planes and adjustments of the degree of jaw opening during practical demonstrations.

Many skull stands are designed only for the display of skull models and do not accommodate manipulations on the models.[10],[11] Other stands are produced as part of an entire dental clinical skill unit and, therefore, cannot be suitably utilised for other demonstrations when isolated from the parent unit.[7],[9] Furthermore, most of the currently existing skull stands usually do not accommodate any other skull model other than those for which they are made[8] nor will they allow any adjustment of the skull components such as varying the degree of jaw opening or closure. More importantly, these stands are not readily available in Nigeria and have to be imported, making them relatively expensive.

The attributes of ASS ensure a convenient and smooth running of a demonstration session by providing the demonstrator and the student(s) a good view and shortened demonstration time. In addition, the risk of accidental injuries to the assistant is reduced, and a candidate is afforded the opportunity to demonstrate practical skills on a stable skull model during examinations. The device is also versatile because it can be used for various types and sizes of skull models. ASS has been found to be very useful during class demonstrations, practical sessions, training workshops and objective structured clinical examinations of Part One fellowship examinations of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria and the West African College of Surgeons.


  Conclusion Top


ASS is an indigenous design of skull stand that is simple, adjustable and adaptable to various skull models. The stand is a demonstration of appropriate technology as it is made from local, readily available materials, making it cheaper than imported ones.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Sikes L. Skull Stands for Budding Artists. Available from: http://www.instructables.com/id/SKULL-STANDS-FOR-BUDDING-ARTISTS/. [Last accessed on 2018 Oct 01].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Chen S, Pan Z, Wu Y, Gu Z, Li M, Liang Z, et al. The role of three-dimensional printed models of skull in anatomy education: A randomized controlled trail. Sci Rep 2017;7:575.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Okuda T, Kataoka K, Kato A. Training in endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery using a skull model and eggs. Acta Neurochir (Wien) 2010;152:1801-4.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Park SW, Choi JW, Koh KS, Oh TS. Mirror-imaged rapid prototype skull model and pre-molded synthetic scaffold to achieve optimal orbital cavity reconstruction. J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2015;73:1540-53.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Lugassy D, Levanon Y, Pilo R, Shelly A, Rosen G, Meirowitz A, et al. Predicting the clinical performance of dental students with a manual dexterity test. PLoS One 2018;13:e0193980.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Okuda T, Yamashita J, Fujita M, Yoshioka H, Tasaki T, Kato A, et al. The chicken egg and skull model of endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery improves trainee drilling skills. Acta Neurochir (Wien) 2014;156:1403-7.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Frasaco Phantom Heads. Available from: http://www.ntc-egypt.com/Dental_Simulators1.html. [Last accessed on 2018 Oct 01].  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Buyamag Inc. Dental Models by Buyamag Inc. Available from: http://www.buyamag.com/dental_training_manikin.php. [Last accessed on 2018 Oct 01].  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Dental Simulator Features. Available from: http://www.nissin-dental.net/products/DentalTrainingProducts/DentalSimulator/index.html. [Last accessed on 2018 Oct 01].  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Skulls Unlimited.com. Available from: http://www.skullsunlimited.com/record_species.php?id=2093. [Last accessed on 2016 Mar 26].  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Dallenbach J. Ornamental Design for Skull Display Stand. US Patent Number US D691,839S; 2013.  Back to cited text no. 11
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]



 

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