Books and other resources


Books and other resources

The learning curve is steepest at the beginning, and in neurosurgery you’ll never stop learning. I’ve received the greatest help from these:

Andrew H. Kaye, Essential Neurosurgery, 2005.Readable, simple overview of all the basics This is where you start. A very readable introduction to the brain and spine disorders and treatment, it is written on the level of the medical student or intern rotating on the neurosurgery service. 

Mark S. Greenberg, Handbook of Neurosurgery, 2010. A thousand-page “handbook” can be pretty intimidating, but it actually fits in your lab coat pocket.

It contains all the common neurosurgical problems you’ll have to manage, with plenty of cookbook formulas so you’ll know just what to order in patient care.

1000 pages of Awesome

Setti Rengachary, Principles of Neurosurgery, 2004. Far more emphasis on brain than spine, this one volume introduction is chock full of charts, diagrams and drawings to give you the big picture of neurosurgical problems. Concise, readable, relevant, this one is a real pleasure to read.One-volume textbook loaded with charts, diagrams

Daniel H. Kim, Surgical Anatomy and Techniques to the Spine, 2005. The pictures and diagrams are worth the price of the book, and in fact are included on a CD for handy electronic reference. I’ve even copied a page or two for patient education: “This is what will be done in your surgery.”Surgery in step-by-step drawings

And finally, just to keep you honest:

You don’t have to buy Duane E. Haines, Neuroanatomy An Atlas of Structures, Sections, and Systems, 2004. You lost me at hello. Sorry. It’s like  Netter’s Atlas on steroids: just too many named structures for a beginner. And that’s what this list is about.


Clear Canvas: A Reader Program for CD images

Clear Canvas: A Reader Program for CD images

Every patient brings their films on CD. It can take forever to let each disc load its reader software and images. A much faster way to get the images is to have a reader program resident on your computer, as a free standing program, pre-loaded, just like Microsoft Word is a free standing program. Then when you insert the patient’s CD, the images will dump into the program. Not only is it the fastest way to get to the images, it also offers the ease of navigating the same software every time, rather than having to figure out the commands of each different reader program.

I am using Clear Canvas, available as a free program from When go to their site, you will register for free, then go to downloads. The product you want is the Workstation.

After you download the program, you double click from your desktop to start the program. Insert the patient CD, and cancel the Autoplay feature to keep the disc program from loading. Now, go to Clear Canvas and click the “Computer” tab, and then right-click on the drive containing the disc. Choose “Import.” A progress bar will display. After all the images have come into Clear Canvas, click the “Dicom” tab. Find the patient name and double-click the study you want to view.

I am constantly using the “cross reference lines” feature to see where I am, and of course the “windowing” feature to adjust brightness and contrast. This program has streamlined my office practice!