The simplest way to put it is that osteology is the study of skeletal anatomy, whether it be specific to the human skeletal anatomy or any other animal’s skeletal system. It deals in anything having to do with bones: structure, function, growth, pathology, decay, trauma and healing, individual bones, the evolution of bones, et cetera. That means that, while it really is a subset of the overall study of anatomy, osteology really can be considered a subfield of many disciplines, depending on why you’re studying it.
Osteology can be considered a subfield of anthropology, if one is studying the human (as well as nonhuman primate and/or hominid) skeleton for the purposes of archaeology or palaeoanthropology. I plan to go into bioarchaeology and am very interested in how the health and nutrition of an individual is detailed in their bones, so I should be quite comfortable with the human musculoskeletal system. I need to know how to determine other factors like age, growth as they aged, and any history of disease or trauma to the bones. I will also need to know how to re-articulate (or, put back together) a skeleton, because bones can get quite jumbled up over time, especially when they’re just hanging out underground.
In forensic science and bioarchaeology, it is important to look at human remains with both the naked eye and under the microscope in order to determine things like biological sex (not gender, though that can be inferred through a variety of ways), age, cause of death, and how old the bones themselves are.
Human skeletons are studied for the medical practice of orthopedics, which is the basically osteology in action with live patients. An orthopedic surgeon deals with a wide range of things, from knee arthroplasty (replacement) to congenital bone disorders like osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease).
Osteology is studied for a variety of things, like archaeology, forensic science, and medicine, but it’s also studied for things like biophysics, fine arts (for drawing human and animal forms), osteopathy, kinesiology, massage therapy, evolutionary biology, developmental biology, and a bunch of other stuff. It’s a study with a multitude of applications.
Boycott of Vaccine Causes Measles Surge a Decade Later
More than a decade ago, British parents refused to give measles shots to at least a million children because of a vaccine scare that raised the specter of autism. Now, health officials are scrambling to catch up and stop a growing epidemic of the contagious disease.
This year, the U.K. has had more than 1,200 cases of measles, after a record number of nearly 2,000 cases last year. The country once recorded only several dozen cases every year. It now ranks second in Europe, behind only Romania.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/05/boycott-vaccine-causes-measles-surge-decade-later
An illustration of the skeleton system based on Mansur’s Anatomy in the canon of Avicenna
Ben Goldacre: What Doctors Don’t Know About the Drugs They Prescribe
This is a great talk about all of the research fraud and publication bias concerning pharmaceuticals, and the problem that affects the general scientific community.
This skull fragment, found in a London Hospital cemetery, had clearly been used by medical students to practice trephining, or the drilling of holes in the skull to relieve intracranial pressure in cases of skull fracture, and to treat other ailments.
Volume Rendering of a contrast enhanced CT angiography of the supraaortal vessels. Moderate stenosis at the origin of the right sided internal carotid artery.
Gangrene following a gunshot laceration of the femoral artery
Dry gangrene is caused by acute or chronic loss of blood flow to the distal part of a limb, and is most often seen these days in those with poorly-controlled diabetes and in life-long smokers. However, it can also occur if the limb suddenly loses circulation, such as in a thrombosis (blood clot), or a lacerated artery, as is seen here.
Without no circulation, tissues begin to die immediately, and spreads outwards until the point where bloodflow is adequate to keep tissue alive (in this case, probably around the point of laceration). Assuming no bacterial infection took hold above the gangrenous area, and the healthy tissue sealed itself off successfully, the end result without surgery would be the drying up and falling off of the necrotic tissue, in a process known as autoamputation.
However, the number of confounding factors in possible autoamputation scenarios is vast, and surgical intervention is called for whenever possible.
An American Text-Book of Surgery. Edited by J. William White and William W. Keen, 1894.
total wrist fusion
#orthopedic surgeon housemate is not home #I can’t ask him what bad medical thing makes fusing the entire wrist make sense #’bad medical thing’ is of course the technical term
Obviously, I’m not an orthopedic surgeon, but in terms of “bad medical things” necessitating total wrist fusion, I know that it’s anything to do with severe degredation or trauma to the triangular fibrocartilage complex, especially avulsion of the complex from the TFC, ulnocarpal arthritis, and probably severe UCL and RUL perforation/degredation. Once again, I have no idea what I am doing, so take my words with a grain of salt.
I also recall reading someone who was going in for total wrist fusion because he had, “worn down all the cartilage”. So idk, ulnar impact syndrome, osteoarthritis?
- a new synthetic material for repairing bones London, 1990
“In 1996 William Bonfield (born 1937) and colleagues at Queen Mary, University of London developed a synthetic bone graft material with a similar chemistry and structure to natural bone.
Before this time the only options available in bone surgery were to use bone harvested from cadavers and donated to hospital bone banks, or to transplant bone from one part of a patient’s body to another, a process known as ‘autografting’.
However both these options have distinct disadvantages. Bones from hospital banks are of variable quality, biologically inactive and do not promote bone growth. In contrast, autografts do promote bone growth but are limited in quantity, and can cause additional pain and sometimes infection.
Bonfield’s bone graft material can be used to stimulate the biological repair processes, giving surgeons a practical, new option in bone grafting operations such as hip replacements, or when reconstructing parts of the skeleton following trauma or disease”.
Royal Academy of Engineering
Day 19 of White History Month: Medical Racism
The United States (along with other countries in the Western world) has a history of medical racism. The general population is unaware of the history of medical racism, and white health professionals are as well. John M. Hoberman of UT-Austin says that medical schools do not teach students about the history of medical racism, nor do they give them proper diversity training. Many Americans of color have grown to distrust medical professionals, and many white Americans attribute this to paranoia rather than their knowledge of historical and contemporary medical mistreatment.
Medical racism has often benefitted white Americans disproportionately while simultaneously harming Americans of color, as well as people of color outside of the United States. White Americans benefit from medical advances, while individual people of color were harmed, and in some cases, large groups of people of color have been harmed. From trying to “better” the race, to making scientific advances, white people have used and disregarded the rights people of color for their own benefit. Medical racism shows the lack of value ascribed to the bodies and lives of people of color.
The eugenics movement in the United States became very popular and manifested itself in many different ways. Anti-miscegenation laws, birth control, sterilization, forced abortions, forced pregnancies (of white women), and the promotion of higher birth rates for neurotypical white women. Eugenics policies were first instituted in the United States. Laws that advocated the sterilization of those with mental illnesses were in effect in the early 1900s, and soon spread to other countries.
Eugenics movements advocated for the eradication of those with mental illness, those who were homosexual, “promiscuous”, and most of all, those who were outside of the “Nordic” or “Aryan” race. Eugenics was advocated for by many famous white Westerners, including world leaders such as Winston Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt, and Calvin Coolidge.
While eugenics was highly unpopular after the Holocaust, the eugenics tradition of the United States actually provided the background for Nazi Medicine. While most people are aware to some extent what the horrors of Nazi medicine entailed, few people are aware of the American eugenics tradition that inspired it. Eugenics societies promoted “fit families” and “better babies” through awards at contests, but they also promoted harmful legislation barring immigrants and sterilizing “undesirable” people.
Controlling Reproductive Rights of Women of Color
Due to the eugenics movement, thousands of Black women were sterilized. In North Carolina, 7600 people were sterilized between 1929 and 1974, 85% of them women and girls, and a disproportionate number of them people of color (39% in the 1940s, 60% in the 1960s while making up only 25% of the population). The program that allowed for their sterilization was not eliminated fully until 2003. Black women were also sterilized without their consent in other states.
Puerto Rican Women
The United States has held Puerto Rico as a territory since 1898. As a solution to Puerto Rican economic problems, the US government felt that reducing the population of the Puerto Rican government would help. The US sterilized over one-third of Puerto Rican women, many uneducated and working class, between the 1930s and 1970s. Most of these women did not understand the procedure and did not know that it would render them sterile.
Additionally, the US used Puerto Rican women to test out birth control pills in the 1950s. These women were not informed that the pills were experimental - only that they would prevent pregnancy. They were not informed of the possible side effects ranging from nausea to possible death - three women died during the birth control pill trials. Women who reported side effects had their concerns dismissed by researchers.
Native American Women
Native American women who used the Indian Health Services were subject to numerous violations of their rights, particularly their reproductive rights. Some women who underwent procedures such as appendectomies would also have hysterectomies performed on them without their consent. At least 25 percent (and as high as 50 percent) of Native American women of reproductive age who used Indian Health Services were sterilized without their consent or after coercion. Largely white male doctors would use Native American women as “practice” for performing gynecological procedures on white women.
Tuskegee Experiment and Guatemala STD Experiment
In 1932, the Tuskegee Institute worked with the United States government to perform a study on a group of Black men with syphillis. The men were recruited to the study with promises of free meals, transportation to the clinic, medical exams and even treatment for minor medical concerns. The study lasted 40 years and involved the participation of over 600 Black men. This sounded like a good arrangement in theory, but researchers did not hold up their end of the bargain. By 1947, penicillin was widely used as treatment for syphillis. The researchers neglected to inform the men involved in the study in addition to refusing to treat the men.
As a result of the Tuskegee Experiment, nearly a hundred men died, and hundreds of partners and children were infected with the disease as well. Not only was this a breach of research ethics, as the participants did not give informed consent and were not treated for their ailment. The men and their families won a $9 million class action lawsuit in 1973, but this of course was not enough to make up for the damage that was done.
Similarly, the same researcher who uncovered the Tuskegee Syphillis experiment, Susan Reverby, discovered that a similar situation occured in Guatemala. The US Public Health Service and Pan American Sanitary Bureau worked with the Guatemalan government to do research on 1300 Guatemalans that involved intentionally exposing them to STDs.
The experiment involved many who are considered disposable in society - sex workers, mental patients, prisoners, and soldiers. Only 700 of these people were treated, and during the study 83 people died. Some of the most disturbing incidents during the study involved injecting epilepsy patients in the back of the head with syphillis, as well as the infection of a terminal illness patient with gonnorhea (she died six months later). The Guatemalans in the study also did not give informed consent.
Henrietta Lacks (1920 - 1951) was a Black woman who went to Johns Hopkins Hospital to be examined for serious medical concerns. After a biopsy was performed, she was diagnosed with and subsequently treated for cancer. While she was being treated, healthy and cancerous cells were removed from her cervix without her consent. She died in 1951, but the cells stolen from her body continued to be used. Though she died poor and was buried without a gravestone, her cells were used for many medical tests. From routine tests for human sensitivity to substances to the development of the Polio vaccine, her cells were used for medical advances. Her family only learned about the removal of her cells in the 1970s, and she is largely unknown despite the contributions to science she had made.
Current medical racism
Distrust of medical health professionals, along with racist attitudes probably contribute to medical health disparities. Racially linked anxiety disorders have been linked to racism at the hands of white people. A significant number of Black women report racism and sexism contributing to their stress and to stress-linked overeating.
Stressful life circumstances are reasons for hypertension and many mental health ailments. Working and middle class Black women who report multiple forms of discrimination are more likely to have high blood pressure than those who report fewer incidents. Black Americans who are more confrontational about racism are less likely to have elevated blood pressure than those who stay silent, which can be attributed to the effects of suppressed hostility.
Today, doctors still exhibit subconscious racist attitudes. A study in the American Journal of Public Health (March 2012) showed that a full two-thirds of the doctors in the sample were racially biased. White and Asian health professionals showed anti-Black bias, but Black health professionals showed no bias.
Doctors are more likely to speak more slowly to Black patients, extend their visits, and to lecture and talk down to them. This shows that the doctors are paternalistic and don’t care about respecting their patients or asking for their input
Additionally, white doctors are prone to giving worse care to patients of color, regardless of their income. People of color are less likely to get the diagnoses and treatment that they need, for everything ranging from heart disease medication, HIV treatment, and dialysis. Black women are the least likely to receive the pain medication that they need. Mental health professionals are less likely to diagnose people of color with an appropriate diagnosis because of their race.
Also, forced sterilization against Romani is still extremely prevalent in European countries.
You are looking at the head and shoulders of a human preparation (right) from the back(left). The top of the skull and the brain have been removed. In fact it is the oldest known preserved human dissection in Europe. Radiocarbon dating puts the age of the body between A.D. 1200 and A.D.1280. Photo from the front here. Photo on the left here and photo on the right here
Mummified head of Pharaoh Ramses II, with artificially enhanced nose.
Did you know that the first plastic surgery was performed in Ancient Egypt? No, not on the living, but it was considered crucial to the Egyptians who were mummified.
In the afterlife, the only physical feature believed to be completely retained was the facial structure, but mummification dried the body such that the face was often unrecognizable. Ramses II was known for his elongated nose, so to ensure he would be recognized as a king in the afterlife, bone and seeds were surgically inserted under the skin of his nose after the desiccation of mummification, to restore and exaggerate its original shape.
Read more about plastic surgery, from Ancient Egypt to Tagliacozzi, to Harold Gillies’ wartime facial reconstruction in my mental_floss article!
Image: Catalogue General Antiquites Egyptiennes du Musee du Caire; The Royal Mummies. G. Elliot Smith, 1912.
Check out the article, it’s definitely worthwhile if you’re a fan of medical history/ the strange and unusual~
“3D printing technology has helped replace 75 percent of a patient’s skull with the approval of U.S. regulators.
The 3D-printed implant can replace the bone in people’s skulls damaged by disease or trauma, according to Oxford Performance Materials. The company announced it had received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its skull implant on Feb. 18 — a decision that led to the first U.S. surgical operation on March 4.
“We see no part of the orthopedic industry being untouched by this,” said Scott DeFelice, president of Oxford Performance Materials.
DeFelice’s company is already selling 3D-printed implants overseas as a contract manufacturer. But the FDA decision has opened the door for U.S. operations using the implants. [Video: A 3D Printer of Your Own]
3D printing’s advantage comes from taking the digitally scanned model of a patient’s skull and “printing” out a matching 3D object layer by layer. The precise manufacturing technique can even make tiny surface or edge details on the replacement part that encourage the growth of cells and allow bone to attach more easily.
About 300 to 500 U.S. patients could use skull bone replacements every month, according to DeFelice. The possible patients include people with cancerous bone in their skulls, as well as car accident victims and U.S. military members suffering from head trauma” (read more).
(Source: Discovery News)