Human Cadaver Dissection Week 1

Day 1: We got started right away with the dissection. We got three new bodies, 2 female (97 and early 70s years of age) and 1 male (72 or 73 years of age also). We worked primarily on one of the female bodies and occasionally the male body.

We began skinning and cutting out the superficial layers of the subcutaneous fat tissue. My group focused on the posterior thigh, cutting down to the hamstring + adductor muscles and the posterior leg, cutting down to the superficial calf muscles (Gastrocnemius and Soleus). We worked mostly on the right thigh and left/ right leg.

Day 2: More skinning and fat trimming. My group focused the lumbar region in the back and the gluteal region all on the left side. Females tend to have more fat than males but I was still amazed to actually see how much fat can accumulate in the lower back and glutes.

We only dissected to the superficial muscle groups this day. I also got into the posterior shoulder region, uncovering the deltoids a little bit.

Day 3: Not a super exciting day just mostly focused on fat trimming and isolating the appropriate structures for our exam. Today we worked on both the male and female bodies. List of structures we had to know/ be able to ID on the bodies:

Lower limb:

  1. Quadriceps: Rectus femoris, Vastus lateralis, Vastus medialis, Vastus intermedius
  2. Sartorius
  3. Adductor magnus
  4. Adductor longus
  5. Gracillis
  6. Tensor fascia latae (TFL)
  7. IT band
  8. Femoral N
  9. Femoral A
  10. Femoral V
  11. Extensor hallicus longus
  12. Extensor digitorum longus
  13. Tibialis anterior
  14. Biceps femoris
  15. Semimembranosus
  16. Semitendinosus
  17. Gastrocnemius
  18. Soleus
  19. Plantaris
  20. Sciatic N
  21. Tibial N
  22. Common fibular N
  23. Popliteal A
  24. Popliteal V
  25. Fibularis longus (belly = proximal to brevis)
  26. Fibularis brevis (deep to longus)
  27. Great saphenous V
  28. Small saphenous V
  29. Sural N
  30. Saphenous N
  31. Dorsalis pedis A
  32. Gluteus maximus
  33. Gluteus medius
  34. Gluteus minimus
  35. Piriformis
  36. Quadratus femoris
  37. Triceps Coxae: Superior gemellus, Tendon of obturator internus, Inferior gemellus

Upper Limb:

  1. Biceps brachii
  2. Coracobrachialis
  3. Brachialis
  4. Brachioradialis
  5. Triceps brachii
  6. Deltoid
  7. Latissimus dorsi
  8. Trapezius
  9. Axillary N
  10. Radial N
  11. Basilica N (pinky/ulnar side)
  12. Cephalic N (head – thumb/radial side)
  13. Median cubital V

VAN – vein, artery, nerve – medial to lateral direction (in the femoral area)

Day 4: We reviewed and identified the appropriate structures for our first exam on both the male and female cadavers. Shortly after we stepped out as the instructor and adjunct pinned the 25 structures for our exam. I got an A, missing only one structure. I mixed up the median cubital vein for the basilica nerve. The median cubital vein runs down the middle of the forearm/ arm while the basilica nerve runs down the ulnar/ pinky side of the forearm/hand and goes up into the underarm. On a cadaver this was really tricky to see especially since we weren’t allowed to touch the structures during the exam. The body it was pinned on the vessel looked like it followed the track of the nerve but it was actually the vein.


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