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April 8, 1944


JAMA. 1944;124(15):1030-1035. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850150010003

In this discussion of intractable pain which may follow amputation I should like to begin by pointing out how little is known about it, and what an opportunity is awaiting surgeons in the military forces today for gaining a better insight into its mechanism, as well as for devising effective methods of treatment. With the promising start made by Mitchell, Morehouse and Keen1 in the investigation of painful nerve injuries during the Civil War, it is surprising how little progress was made by our immediate predecessors from 1914 to 1918. Perhaps this was due to the fact that the best neurosurgical minds, like the late Dr. Cushing's, were taken up with the problems of cerebral trauma, and that therefore lesions of peripheral nerves, which cause intense pain, were neglected. With the present broadening of neurosurgical interest to include the sympathetic nervous system and the problems of intractable pain, we

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