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Article
November 5, 1927

COMPRESSION FRACTURES OF THE SPINE: DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT

JAMA. 1927;89(19):1563-1568. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690190001001
Abstract

I believe the following statements to be true:

  1. Compression fractures of the spine comprise nearly half of all spinal fractures. They are common injuries.

  2. They are very frequently not recognized early. Diagnosis is faulty.

  3. They are often treated by unsound methods and serious disability ensues. The medicolegal aspect is important.

  4. We know how to treat them and in uncomplicated cases, if we apply this knowledge, a return to full wage-earning ability may be confidently expected. This knowledge is not being generally applied.

The material on which these premises are based is afforded by a review of 242 fractures of the spine, distributed as follows: (1) 108 compression fractures of the spine occurring at the Boston City Hospital during the five year period from 1921 to 1926; (2) 114 cases of fracture of the spine occurring at the Massachusetts General Hospital from 1917 to 19271; (3) twenty cases from office practice:

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