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Radiographics. 2004 Jan-Feb;24(1):257-85.

Medical devices of the head, neck, and spine.

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Department of Radiology, University of Arizona College of Medicine, 1501 N Campbell Ave, PO Box 245067, Tucson, AZ 85724-5067, USA.

Erratum in

  • Radiographics. 2004 Mar-Apr;24(2):418.


There are many medical devices used for head, neck, and spinal diseases and injuries, and new devices are constantly being introduced. Many of the newest devices are variations on a previous theme. Knowing the specific name of a device is not important. It is important to recognize the presence of a device and to have an understanding of its function as well as to be able to recognize the complications associated with its use. The article discusses the most common and important devices of the head, neck, and spine, including cerebrospinal fluid shunts and the Codman Hakim programmable valve; subdural drainage catheters, subdural electrodes, intracranial electrodes, deep brain stimulators, and cerebellar electrodes; coils, balloons, adhesives, particles, and aneurysm clips; radiation therapy catheters, intracranial balloons for drug installation, and carmustine wafers; hearing aids, cochlear implants, and ossicular reconstruction prostheses; orbital prostheses, intraocular silicone oil, and lacrimal duct stents; anterior and posterior cervical plates, posterior cervical spine wiring, odontoid fracture fixation devices, cervical collars and halo vests; thoracic and lumbar spine implants, anterior and posterior instrumentation for the thoracic and lumbar spine, vertebroplasty, and artificial disks; spinal column stimulators, bone stimulators, intrathecal drug delivery pumps, and sacral stimulators; dental and facial implant devices; gastric and tracheal tubes; vagus nerve stimulators; lumboperitoneal shunts; and temperature- and oxygen-sensing probes.

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