There is no argument that one cannot be a surgeon without detailed knowledge of anatomy. And of all human organs and systems, the anatomy of the nervous system is by far the most complex and most fascinating – something even non-neurosurgeons would probably agree.
But the fascination frequently, and reasonably so, focuses on the central nervous system; after all, the anatomy of the brain and spinal cord is inseparable from their function, and the brain functioning makes a person alive. But the peripheral nervous system is what connects the brain and spinal cord with the rest of the body, what carries information to and from it, makes us move and feel, in effect allowing us to function.
When I first heard about Dr. Rigoard’s project aimed at creation of comprehensive but user-friendly atlas dedicated to the anatomy of the peripheral nervous system, I was very doubtful that he will be able to pull it through – a prominent and busy practicing neurosurgeon, who, on top of his professional life, is deeply dedicated to his family, is not expected to complete such grandiose task while maintaining a full-time clinical practice. But he proved me wrong – this atlas is a reality and its level surpasses all expectations! A combination of high-quality anatomical drawings with amazing computer graphics and deep understanding of functionality of the peripheral nervous system is the basis of this anatomical masterpiece.
When I discussed the contents of this atlas with its creator, Dr. Rigoard reminded me that there is a concept of dividing peripheral nervous system into three main components: the cranial system that contains both somatic sensory motor, special senses and vegetative part, and develops from branchial arches; the axial system that includes prototypic mixed sensory motor nerves, gets derived from metameric spinal branches, and also includes vegetative component; and, finally, the socalled exploratory system that focuses on exploration of the surrounding environment and allows one to move around and gather information from outside world using the “extensions” of the trunk called limbs. This volume of the atlas is dedicated to the latter system and is focused on the innervation of limbs starting with dedicated plexuses and continuing with major peripheral nerves.
Medical Free Books: Atlas of Anatomy of the Peripheral Nerves: The Nerves of the Limbs – Student Edition PDF