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December 1, 1951


JAMA. 1951;147(14):1397. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670310087040

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This small monograph deals with the subject clearly, concisely, and intelligently. The study is based on 105 cases of true causalgia seen in military service and treated by sympathectomy, plus a lesser untabulated number treated in civilian practice. The author emphasizes the opinion that causalgia is a clinical entity characterized by pain which is usually burning, and is associated with vasomotor and trophic changes; this entity follows injury to peripheral nerves. It occurs most frequently with injury to the median and sciatic nerves; however, other nerves may be involved. The probable mechanism is thought to be an interaction of impulses between sympathetic and sensory fibers at the site of injury.

The author is of the opinion that the pain can be relieved by appropriate sympathectomy. Procaine block of the sympathetic chain is a valuable diagnostic aid and may also be an effective therapeutic agent. Illustrations are added which show the

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