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Recent updates

Oct 6, 2011

The Lumbar Anatomy module has been updated. Visit module...

Oct 6, 2011

The Ultrasound Guided Regional Anesthesia of the Lumbar Spine teaching module has been launched. Visit module...

May 7, 2010

The Virtual Spine Web site is launched.

Page Content


Welcome to the Toronto Western Hospital Department of Anesthesia and Pain Management Virtual Spine website. This site is intended to be a resource for educators and students looking for tools to facilitate the teaching and learning of Spine Anatomy and Regional Anesthesia of the Spine.

This project was initiated by Dr. Vincent Chan and Dr. Ahtsham Niazi to create interactive online teaching modules to compliment the educational material on Dr. Chan's Ultrasound for Regional Anesthesia Web site.

Now available with Ruffle Chrome extension and in HTML5

Lumbar Anatomy Teaching Module

The Lumbar Anatomy Teaching Module has been designed to aid students and educators to understand and teach lumbar spinal anatomy.

Note: This module was developed with Adobe Flash, and Flash is no longer supported by web browsers. However, there is a new Flash emulator called Ruffle which is under development. Currently, the Virtual Spine Lumbar Anatomy, Virtual Bronchoscopy, Cardiac Embryology, Virtual Liver and POPS simulation are the only PIE Flash modules that works with Ruffle, but as development is ongoing, future releases of Ruffle will work with other PIE modules. This will be indicated on the web page for each module.

Ruffle can be installed as an extension to the Chrome browser which will allow these modules to play. This extension can be downloaded from the Chrome Web Store:



Ultrasound Guided Regional Anesthesia of the
Lumbar Spine Teaching Module

The Lumbar Spine Ultrasound module is aimed at teaching ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia for the lumbar spine. It includes an animation illustrating the flexion of the lumbar spine during patient positioning to open the intervertebral spaces, facilitating the insertion of needles into the spinal canal.

We have begun the process of converting the modules of the Virtual Spine from Flash to HTML5. We have completed the sections of the Lumbar Spine Ultrasound module for Patient positioning and the Sonoanatomy sections for the Paramedian and Transverse scans of the spine. More sections will be added in 2022 as they are completed.


Financial support

We gratefully acknowledge the contribution of financial support for these projects from:

  • R. Fraser Elliott Chair in Cardiac Anesthesia
  • Physicians Services Incorporated Foundation