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Article
March 1996

MOMENTS IN SURGICAL HISTORY

Arch Surg. 1996;131(3):342. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1996.01430150120022

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Abstract

Josiah Nott (1804-1873) received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1827. He practiced in Mobile, Ala, and from 1859 to 1861 was professor of surgery at the Medical College of Alabama. In 1848, he established a private infirmary for African American patients in Mobile, which functioned until after the Civil War. When the hostilities ended, Nott moved to New York City, where he continued his surgical practice. In preanesthetic 1844, Nott reported the world's first description of coccydynia in a paper that received little attention, "Extripation of the os coccygis for neuralgia." He "disarticulated the bone at the second joint, divided the muscular and ligamentous attachments, and without much difficulty dissected out the two terminating bones... the nerves were exquisitely sensitive, and the operation, though short, was one of the most painful I ever performed."

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