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July 7, 1951


JAMA. 1951;146(10):930. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670100050017

Schlesinger and Stinchfield1 have reported on the use of the muscle relaxant mephenesin as a diagnostic and prognostic aid in acute disorders of the lower back. They administered the drug intravenously to 64 hospitalized patients with acute symptoms and signs of herniated intervertebral disk and observed its effect on the pain and on the results of the straight-leg-raising test. Four types of reaction were noted: (1) abrupt relief of low-back and sciatic pain and striking increase in the range of leg motion, (2) abrupt relief of pain with only slight or moderate increase in range of leg motion, (3) abrupt relief of pain with no increase in motion, and (4) rapid relief of local pain, paradoxical aggravation of radiating pain and decrease or no change in straight-leg-raising ability. Patients with the first type of reaction often obtained persistent relief from this test administration of mephenesin, and a high percentage

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