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October 4, 1930

ORTHOPEDIC ASPECTS OF CHRONIC RHEUMATISM OR ARTHRITIS

JAMA. 1930;95(14):992-995. doi:10.1001/jama.1930.02720140014004
Abstract

It is perhaps fitting that I should offer some explanation, if not a defense, of the invasion of a general medical field by a surgical specialty. The purpose of the invasion was to help defeat a strongly intrenching enemy of health whose ally seemed to orthopedic surgeons to be the lethargy of the general practitioner toward the importance of the problem of chronic arthritis and toward its solution.

Orthopedic surgeons were faced originally by the widespread deformities of the joints that were associated with the active disease and that persisted as fixed crippling deformities after the fires of active disease had burned themselves out. They have become aware of the generalized nature of the disease, of the frequent failures to relieve completely or even to influence materially the course of the disease by the surgical removal of supposed bacterial foci of infection, and of the contrasting successes of treatment planned

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