Technique for the harvesting of human cadaveric spines

John M. Gorup, Andrew A. Merola, Christopher M. Bono, Richard I. Zipnick, Walter Morganstern, Tae M. Shin, Mark G. Grossman, Thomas R. Haher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Study Design. One hundred twelve fresh cadaveric spines were harvested using a newly described technique. Objectives. To develop and describe a technique for the expeditious excision of intact human cadaveric spines for biomechanical testing, to educate the dissector on the health and safety issues involved in harvesting spinal specimens, and to review the present recommendations for storage and preservation of spinal segments. Summary of the Background Data. As the need for biomechanical spinal research continues to expand, the demand for fresh human cadaveric vertebral specimens increases. Previous techniques for harvesting are simplistic and sparse. This technique offers a reliable and expeditious method for procurement of spinal vertebral segments of any size. Methods. Human cadaveric spines were harvested using an adaptation of previous posterior spinal approaches. Techniques for sectioning each vertebral region were developed. Detailed description of these techniques was meticulously documented. The procured spinal segments have been used for multiple biomechanical investigations. Results. The technique has been used successfully in more than 100 spinal harvests. Approximate time required is 30 minutes. The harvested segments have been reliable biomechanical specimens in many published studies. Conclusions. A new technique for the rapid extraction of human cadaveric spines has been developed. Dissectors may benefit from the recommendations offered for sectioning of each region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2222-2225
Number of pages4
Issue number20
StatePublished - 15 Oct 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Cadaveric
  • Extraction
  • Spine
  • Technique


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