Nigerian Postgraduate Medical Journal

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

Adaptable skull stand: An indigenous innovation


Adeola A Olusanya1, Bolutife A Olusanya2,  
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

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Bolutife A Olusanya
Department of Ophthalmology, University of Ibadan, Ibadan
Nigeria

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.



How to cite this article:
Olusanya AA, Olusanya BA. Adaptable skull stand: An indigenous innovation.Niger Postgrad Med J 2018;25:267-269


How to cite this URL:
Olusanya AA, Olusanya BA. Adaptable skull stand: An indigenous innovation. Niger Postgrad Med J [serial online] 2018 [cited 2019 Jul 21 ];25:267-269
Available from: http://www.npmj.org/text.asp?2018/25/4/267/248203


Full Text

 Introduction



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}

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}

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



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



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.

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