January 1942


Author Affiliations

From the Orthopedic Service of Bellevue Hospital.

Arch Surg. 1942;44(1):81-94. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1942.01210190084010

Bone drilling as a therapeutic procedure is not altogether modern. About a hundred years ago Daniel Brainard,1 a professor of surgery in Chicago, experimented successfully with subcutaneous bone drilling in animals. This led him to employ it in treating pseudarthrosis in human beings. Brainard recorded his investigations in an elaborate study which he dedicated to no less a person than the chief surgeon of Napoleon, Larrey, who had assisted him with material and experience. In Ollier's comprehensive book,2 bone drilling is plainly referred to as "méthode Brainard." For all this, the procedure lapsed into oblivion.

About ten years ago the method was rediscovered and during the last decade has become a recognized means of treating delayed formation of callus and certain forms of pseudarthrosis. It seems obvious now that bone drilling with the consequent freshening of the bone, the formation of hematoma and the production of small detached

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