The Benefits of Models and Simulators in the Spine Industry
From the Atlas vertebrae connecting the spine to the skull, to the tiny coccyx bone at the base of the lower back, the spine is one of the most complex structures in the human body.
Named “Atlas” after the mythical Greek Titan, burdened with carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders, this vertebra allows a greater range of motion than normal vertebrae and is one of over a hundred joints that allow for the spine’s extreme flexibility.
Did you know that humans in fact share a similarity with that of longneck giraffes in that they both have seven cervical vertebrae?
Back pain and spinal cord injury
Despite the spine’s flexibility and complexity, related pain and injury is also the number one worldwide leading cause of disability and reason for work absence and as many as 31 million Americans suffer with back pain at any one time.
Back pain is in the top two most common reasons for a physician visit and whilst 80% of cases don’t require full medical treatment, dealing with back pain questions will be a daily occurrence for most medical practitioners.
Spinal cord injury on a more severe level affects over 275,000 Americans, predominantly male and at an alarmingly young average age at injury of 33.
Continued spine education for medical practitioners
Subsequently, continued medical education is essential to improving patient safety and ensuring patient questions can be answered effectively with confidence.
There are many suitable courses available for medical students or indeed qualified medical practitioners to take part in both theory and practical based continued learning. They typically cover:
- Improving core knowledge on the spine
- Clinical evaluation and observation
- Operative management
- Post-operative care
- Non-operative management
- Clinical research opportunities
Many of these educators use the latest, high quality, learning tools alongside their hands-on training as learning is proven to go further with the ability to simulate a situation – especially useful with something as sensitive and detailed as the spine, having such a small margin for error.
Common spinal procedures – working with your patients
Some spine related medical procedures are associated as “routine” nowadays. Take an epidural, for example, over 60% of women use epidurals or spine injections to ease labor pain – National Centre for Health Statistics.
Epidurals and spine injections though, despite their regularity, are still feared by many women under the impression they may get a “spinal headache” or lose sensation in their legs following.
Realistically, 0.2% of cases are reported to have severe problems as was reported at a 2014 conference by the American Society of Anesthesiologists in New Orleans.
“There is always room for improvement” – Dr Sami Jani, Boston
However, educating patients on facts like this can reassure them pre-treatment and build a good patient to practitioner relationship.
Using spinal models for effective communication
A key aspect to successfully educate patients is having the correct tools, models and anatomy charts to communicate spinal related topics and procedures – life models demonstrate in non-medical terms exactly where the problem lies and what is involved with the treatment they are about to receive.
This could be relevant to describe spinal conditions such as:
- Spinal fractures – using the model to communicate the exact location of the fracture
- Spinal stenosis
- Vertebral compressions fractures
Spine models can also be helpful to explain how procedures work, such as epidurals, spine injections and spinal decompression.
It’s important the models are accurate and high quality. 3B Scientific, along with experts in the medical industry pay close attention to the spinal industry due to its great importance and have developed different learning and training tools for both continued medical education and enhancing patient education.
Our top 5 educational tools:
1) Epidural & Spinal Injection Trainer (P61)
4) Osteoporosis Model (A95)
5) Our favorite Skeleton Model, Stan (to understand the whole body)
Are you interested in patient education? Have you seen our sectional spine models and spinal pathologies including: cervical spine, thoracic spine, lumbar spine, osteoporosis model, degeneration of the lumbar spine and anatomical lifting manikin?
Make sure you download a Free copy of our Medical Catalog or order your print copies to be delivered to your home, clinic or medical practice