The percentage of cures in operations for tumors in and about the spinal cord is given by Stursberg as 32.2 per cent. A perusal of the complete literature of the subject will readily convince anyone that this percentage will eventually be much higher.
After operation patients have died from excessive loss of cerebrospinal fluid, from sepsis, from shock, from exhaustion. The errors have been only partly surgical, for the patients have been rendered more liable to succumb to them through diminished resistance caused by delay in operating. In a large number of the recorded cases, the symptoms have preceded operation by two or three years or more; and pending the trial of futile treatments, notably the mercurial, the chances of cure have been scattered to the winds. Errors in diagnosis, unavoidable during the formation of a complete symptomatology of this rare disease, have also helped to swell the list
BAILEY P. THE SURGICAL DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT OF TUMORS IN AND ABOUT THE SPINAL CORD. JAMA. 1910;LIV(11):849-853. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.92550370001001d