Surgical treatment of the gastric crises of tabes dorsalis has only recently offered promising and definite results. It is now recognized that the usual types of antisyphilitic therapy have little effect on such crises. Stokes1 stated that "marked amelioration of symptoms is possible in 24 per cent, the usual response consisting in reduction in severity and length of attack with or without an increase of intervals between them.—Fever therapy and especially malaria often afford striking temporary relief and the response may even be prolonged."
In outlining intelligently any form of surgical therapy, one must take into account the physiology and the pathologic physiology involved. At present, concepts concerning the physiologic mechanism of visceral pain are controversial, so that in a measure surgical efforts have been of the trial and error type. Indeed, it is more likely that the results of carefully controlled clinical experiences will solve certain physiologic problems
HYNDMAN OR, JARVIS FJ. GASTRIC CRISIS OF TABES DORSALISTREATMENT BY ANTERIOR CHORDOTOMY IN EIGHT CASES. Arch Surg. 1940;40(5):997-1013. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1940.04080040179017