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July 1952


Author Affiliations

Dr. Adson died Nov. 12, 1951.; From the Section of Neurologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic.

AMA Arch Surg. 1952;65(1):139-149. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1952.01260020151014

NEUROSURGICAL procedures offer relief from intractable pain in many instances when medical and general surgical procedures fail. However, they should not be employed until all medical and physical means have been exhausted. Physical therapy and administration of an analgesic drug usually suffice to relieve pain due to inflammatory lesions such as neuritis, fibrositis, myositis, and arthritis. There is always a temptation to administer a narcotic for pain, but it should be remembered that the administration of a narcotic for more than a few days can readily lead to addiction. Administration of a narcotic is not justified for chronic conditions, with one exception, and that is for an inoperable malignant lesion when the patient's life expectancy is only a few months.

Pain, an unpleasant, disagreeable, often debilitating sensation, results from irritation or stimulation of a sensory nerve or tract which in turn conducts the stimulus to the brain. Interpretation of such

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