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Many cadaver-based anatomy courses and surgical workshops use prosections to help podiatry students and residents learn clinically relevant anatomy. The quality of these prosections is variable and dependent upon the methods used to prepare them. These methods have not been adequately described in the literature, and few studies describe the use of chemicals to prepare prosections of the cadaveric foot and ankle. Recognizing the need for better teaching prosections in podiatric education, we developed a chemical application method with underwater dissection to better preserve anatomic structures of the cadaveric foot and ankle.
We used inexpensive chemicals before, during, and after each step, which ultimately resulted in high-quality prosections that improved identification of anatomic structures relevant to the practice of podiatric medicine.
Careful preservation of clinically important nerves, vessels, muscles, ligaments, and joints was achieved with these prosections.
Although this method required additional preparation time, the resultant prosections have been repeatedly used for several years to facilitate learning among podiatry students and residents, and they have held up well. This method can be used by educators to teach podiatry students throughout their medical training and even into residency. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 103(5): 387–393, 2013)