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October 24, 1891


JAMA. 1891;XVII(17):641-642. doi:10.1001/jama.1891.02410950029002

At the recent meeting of the American Orthopedic Association, Dr. John Ridlon, of New York, read a paper with the above title.1 He says "syphilitic spondylitis differs in no way from syphilitic joint disease located elsewhere, except as it is modified by its peculiar surroundings. In the superficial joints, where the infiltration of the soft parts and bone can be readily seen and felt, the onset of the disease is very slow, and months may pass before pain is complained of or disability become serious; but in the spine, where the lesion is located in and about the anterior surface of the vertebral bodies, far beyond sight and touch, the slow advance of the early symptoms escapes recognition and the onset usually appears to be comparatively rapid. On any motion the distant pain is complained of, and sometimes within a few days the patient is unable to stand without

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