The spinal canal has for many centuries been considered legitimate ground for operative procedures. As early as the 7th century the advisability of operation for fractured spine was urged by Paul d'Egine1 and others. In the 16th century and since that time, various surgeons have advised operative interference for the relief of this condition, but it was probably not until the beginning of the 19th century that a definite operation was performed for a fractured spine. Since then the subject has constantly thrust itself into prominence and has been much debated and often with considerable heat and vigor. This was especially true of a discussion which took place in the Royal Society of Surgery of London in 1820.
About the same time (1823), A. Cooper wrote: "If you could save one life in ten, aye, one in a hundred, by such an operation, it is your duty to attempt
McCOSH AJ. REMARKS ON SPINAL SURGERY, WITH ILLUSTRATIVE CASES.. JAMA. 1901;XXXVII(9):569–573. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.62470350025002h