Skull clamps are simple pieces of surgical equipment designed to prevent unintended movement of the patient’s head during neurosurgical and spine procedures.

The Mayfield® Cranial Stabilization System has its own resource center with how-to videos that contain tips and best practices for set up, use, and cleaning of the device.

For example, one such video, included below, presents guidance on best practices for use of the Mayfield in surgery on a prone patient. These best practices include the principles of pin placement, the sweatband zone, and examples of ideal and non-ideal placements on the head.**

**Pin placement is only one small part of the overall operating room setup. Patient positioning for neurosurgical and spine procedures is a complex topic with many important factors that are beyond the scope of this one video. The surgeon must consider the individual patient and the surgical situation when incorporating these best practices for skull clamp pin placement.

For more tips and diagrams for other surgical approaches, download the Mayfield® Patient Positioning for Success poster here.

Please visit the Mayfield Resource Center to learn more, and be sure to contact your Codman Specialty Surgical representative for access to additional position-specific training videos, including bifrontal, parietal, temporal and more.


The Mayfield Skull Clamp is placed on the patient’s skull to hold their head and neck securely in a particular position when rigid fixation is desired. The clamp is indicated for use in open and percutaneous craniotomies as well as spinal surgery when rigid skeletal fixation is necessary.

The skull clamp must be applied along the centerline of the patient’s head with pins entering the skull perpendicularly. Failure to properly position the skull clamp on the patient’s head could result in patient injury such as scalp laceration due to skull pin slippage. Failure to properly position patient and to fully tighten and secure all adjustable portions of this or any similar device may result in skull pin slippage and serious patient injury, such as scalp laceration, skull fracture or even death.

Pressure in excess of 80lbs is NOT RECOMMENDED.

Avoid the areas of the frontal sinus, temporal fossa, major blood vessels, nerves, previously restored or abnormally thin bone.

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