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Pelvic Diaphragm

    The next step in the "Introduction to the Perineum and Pelvis" is to demonstrate the relationship of the pelvic diaphragm muscles to the bony pelvis.  The extracted bones of the pelvis  will provide the framework for the attachment of muscles (also extracted from the Visible Human data set) to illustrate the pelvic and urogenital diaphragms and their three dimensional relationship to the bony pelvis.

    We have created a multimedia application that allows the students to add the individual muscles of the pelvic walls and pelvic diaphragm to the bony pelvis [Figure 3].  This consists of a superior view of the pelvis looking down on the pelvic diaphragm from above. This allows them to learn the relationships of these muscles not only to the bones but also to each other.  Once the individual muscles that form these structures are added, the pelvic viscera and associated neurovascular structures will also be layered onto these images.

    We have extracted the muscles of the pelvic wall and diaphragm to add to the extracted Visible Human bony pelvis as in our interactive tutorial.  The quality of the images of muscles obtained from the Visible Human is excellent. A view corresponding to that which will be used in interactive tutorial is shown in [Figure 4].  Eventually as the students add each layer,  the pelvis can be turned to view the relationships between the different pelvic structures from any perspective.

    Other perspectives of the bones and muscles of the pelvis reveal features that are difficult to visualize from atlas illustrations and conventional dissection.  A posterior view clearly demonstrates the unusual course of the obturator internus muscles as they leave the pelvis to reach the femur  and the path of the piriformis muscle [Figure 5].   An anterior view nicely illustrates the iliacus and psoas muscles and their relationship to the pelvic bones  [Figure 6]. An inferior view clearly shows the relationships of the bones and muscles in the perineum [Figure 7].

Next: Perineum Up: Title Page Previous: Bony Pelvis Index: Full Text Index Contents: Conference Page