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March 1969

The Surgical Relief of Pain in Arthritic Disease.

Arch Intern Med. 1969;123(3):354. doi:10.1001/archinte.1969.00300130136030

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Surgeon Herfort presents a retrospective monograph based on observations derived from 150 patients observed over a ten-year period on whom he performed surgical denervation "for the relief of previously intractable pain in the arthritic hip and knee." The series is difficult to evaluate since there are no controls except the patients themselves who "... had run the gamut of most of the antiarthritic drugs and a few patients who had operative orthopedic procedures carried on to no avail." One is obliged to speculate on the long-range consequences of surgical denervation upon weight-bearing joints, in view of known effects of denervation due to diseases such as diabetes mellitus with peripheral neuropathy and tabes dorsalis.

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