Register to reply

Since when can a skull grow back?

by waht
Tags: grow, skull
Share this thread:
waht
#1
Oct6-09, 10:17 PM
P: 1,636
Interesting, didn't know that a skull can grow back:

The severely damaged skull of a Northumberland man involved in a car crash 50 years ago has regenerated itself, a process thought to be rare.

Doctors operated to treat an infection in Gordon Moore's head and found the bone had grown back beneath the metal plate inserted after the accident.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8293731.stm
Phys.Org News Partner Medical research news on Phys.org
Controlling childbirth pain tied to lower depression risk
The human parasite Leishmania is a probiotic for the fly that carries it
Gene marker may predict breast cancer response to tamoxifen
Monique
#2
Oct7-09, 04:00 AM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
Monique's Avatar
P: 4,642
When you break a bone it heals, it's remarkable that it grew back over such a large area.
Proton Soup
#3
Oct7-09, 04:37 PM
P: 1,070
huh. i wonder if the composition of the metal had something to do with it?

turbo
#4
Oct7-09, 05:34 PM
PF Gold
turbo's Avatar
P: 7,363
Since when can a skull grow back?

Bone in skull can re-grow. Anthropologists judge the success of Pre-Colombian Trephination surgeries by gauging how much bone has grown back. No re-growth at all is generally regarded as an indicator of an unsuccessful surgery, absent evidence of other conditions that could have killed the patient.
waht
#5
Oct7-09, 08:45 PM
P: 1,636
Quote Quote by turbo-1 View Post
Bone in skull can re-grow. Anthropologists judge the success of Pre-Colombian Trephination surgeries by gauging how much bone has grown back. No re-growth at all is generally regarded as an indicator of an unsuccessful surgery, absent evidence of other conditions that could have killed the patient.
If you brake a bone, and put it in cast undisturbed, the bones will bond because of being in close proximity. But if you were to drill a hole in skull, would it actually patch by itself?
turbo
#6
Oct7-09, 08:53 PM
PF Gold
turbo's Avatar
P: 7,363
Early cranial surgery was generally performed by cutting a pair of parallel slices in the skull. If you looked for signs of healing, you would look first at the corners and later to the flat sides. Nature will make a circle out of a square, if allowed.
Proton Soup
#7
Oct7-09, 09:19 PM
P: 1,070
i've been trying to imagine how it happens. my guess is that there is a covering of connective tissue that scars over the injury, and that osteoblasts from the edge of the injured bone migrate into the connective tissue and gradually ossify it.

but with metal plates, i think there are some metals (titanium?) that can actually serve as a structure for bone to attach, like in hip replacements.
Moonbear
#8
Oct7-09, 09:35 PM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
Moonbear's Avatar
P: 12,271
As the article states, it's very rare. I'd be curious to know if this man has some genetic "abnormality" that allowed such an unusual amount of healing to occur so late in life.

Usually, these metal plates are left in place for life. Of course, one area of research in biomedical engineering is finding materials that will serve to function in place of a bone or ligament, and promote regrowth of tissue into the area to eventually replace the injured tissue. But, even in those cases, usually the implanted material remains for life, encapsulated in the new tissue growth.
WhoWee
#9
Oct9-09, 09:26 PM
P: 1,123
Quote Quote by Moonbear View Post
As the article states, it's very rare. I'd be curious to know if this man has some genetic "abnormality" that allowed such an unusual amount of healing to occur so late in life.

Usually, these metal plates are left in place for life. Of course, one area of research in biomedical engineering is finding materials that will serve to function in place of a bone or ligament, and promote regrowth of tissue into the area to eventually replace the injured tissue. But, even in those cases, usually the implanted material remains for life, encapsulated in the new tissue growth.
What types of materials and characteristics? I imagine a lightweight rigid mesh type material would allow interwoven and permanent/natural growth.


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Skull and Bones General Discussion 12
Do nerves grow back after injury or not? Medical Sciences 1
Brain and skull Biology 6
Doctors grow jaw bone in man's back Biology 6
Man drills through skull: Skynews General Discussion 1