One of the chief objections to section of the posterior root of the fifth cranial nerve for relief of tic douloureux or facial pain from a maligant growth is the loss of touch sensation as well as the appearance of subjective numbness in the face following this procedure. This disadvantage is common to both the Spiller-Frazier and the Dandy operation. It has been overcome by the technic of Sjöqvist in sectioning the bulbospinal root of the fifth cranial nerve. Ranson and Kuntz1 had suggested such a procedure in 1931. Sjöqvist, without knowledge of this idea, performed this operation, which he called tractotomy, for the first time and made a preliminary report in 1937. In 1938 he published a monograph2 in which he gave further proof of the practicable and physiologic basis of this method.
The technic of the operation, as described by Sjöqvist and performed by us,
GRANT FC, GROFF RA, LEWY FH. SECTION OF THE DESCENDING SPINAL ROOT OF THE FIFTH CRANIAL NERVE. Arch NeurPsych. 1940;43(3):498-509. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1940.02280030072007