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August 5, 1922

OTALGIA AND MASTOIDALGIA NOT INDICATIONS FOR OPERATION ON THE MASTOID PROCESS: REPORT OF THREE CASES

Author Affiliations

ROCHESTER, MINN.

From the Section on Otolaryngology and Rhinology, Mayo Clinic.

JAMA. 1922;79(6):431-434. doi:10.1001/jama.1922.02640060013005
Abstract

Otalgia and mastoidalgia, pain in the ear and in the mastoid region, referred in origin and not due to inflammation or new growths, have been encountered in our practice in cases in which operation on the mastoid had been either advised or performed. It was quite apparent that the results, so far as relief of the patients' discomfort was concerned, had not come up to their expectations.

The conditions causing this referred type of pain do not appear to be generally understood. Wilson says, "In the ear, with its nerve supply from many sources, pain not only suggests the region particularly involved in the inflammatory process, but also makes a constant demand upon the physician to deal with referred pain and to interpret its significance." A careful examination of the mechanism of the ear with a head mirror and reflected light will eliminate the idea that inflammation causes the pain

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