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November 1920


Author Affiliations

Associate Professor of Nervous and Mental Diseases, Rush Medical College CHICAGO

Arch NeurPsych. 1920;4(5):542-545. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1920.02180230067006

The Berlin surgeon Borchardt1 appears first to have observed the coexistence of cervical ribs and syringomyelia, in a woman 35 years old, who also was examined by Oppenheim. The latter2 in his textbook comments on this case and points out that cervical ribs belong to the so-called stigmas of degeneration and may be combined with other disorders which are not caused by the ribs but, like them, are features of an underlying neuropathic diathesis. He specifically mentions hysteria, hypochondriasis and spinal gliosis. In connection with the latter he refers to the case mentioned above and to one reported by Marburg.3 This case, which occurred in a woman 19 years old, was complicated by scoliosis which caused the cervical ribs to be prominent and to be mistaken for a bony tumor until operative removal was attempted. Later the appearance of sensory dissociation, painless burns, muscular atrophy and lagophthalmos

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