Objective: The Wishbone device is designed to enable surgeons to quickly and accurately localize the cranial midline. It is intended to be of particular use when localizing the burr hole site during posterior ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS) surgery. Methods: The Wishbone is a simple mechanical device with 2 adjustable caliper arms that reversibly attach to a patient's left and right external auditory canals. The Wishbone's laser localizer illuminates the midline scalp. The Wishbone was used to localize the posterior midline in a pilot series of patients undergoing VPS surgery. Midline localization and ventricular catheter placement accuracy were determined using findings from postoperative computed tomography scans. Results: The Wishbone is a mechanically robust device and proved easy for surgeons to use. Forty patients underwent VPS surgery using the Wishbone to localize the posterior midline. The localization procedure took less than 3 minutes. The average distance separating the Wishbone-localized midline scalp location and the computed tomography−defined anatomical midline was 2.9 mm (95% confidence interval 1.6–4.1 mm). In all cases, the ventricular catheter entered the ipsilateral lateral ventricle. The catheter tips were placed in the ipsilateral (n = 34) or contralateral (n = 5) frontal horn in all but 1 patient. In 1 patient, the catheter tip entered the parenchyma due to a burr hole localization error in the rostrocaudal dimension, unrelated to the Wishbone. Conclusions: We describe a simple, efficient, and cost-effective system for accurately localizing the posterior cranial midline. A larger patient series is required to definitively compare its clinical utility relative to frameless stereotaxis-based midline localization methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)600-605.e1
JournalWorld neurosurgery
StatePublished - Aug 2019


  • Midline localizing device
  • Parietal shunt
  • Posterior shunt
  • Posterior ventriculoperitoneal shunt


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