In a 1989 letter to the editor of Anesthesiology, Barbara Leighton described her Greengrocer's Model of the Epidural Space. We have found this "simulator" to be a fun and useful introduction to epidural anesthesia. Many of our residents prefer this model to more expensive simulators. The Department's version is as shown:
According to Dr. Leighton the banana represents in turn the skin, subcutaneous tissue and ligamentum flavum. She noted that the average banana can be used about 30 attempts. A balloon (not visible in this photo) represents the Dura. As Dr. Leighton noted in her letter, the thin skin of an air or water filled balloon identifies undue pressure on the "dura" with a loud dry pop (double click on each image to enlarge it)
David S. Smith, M.D., Ph.D.