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June 10, 1974

Spinal Cord Injuries: Comprehensive Management and Research

Author Affiliations

University of Illinois College of Medicine Chicago

JAMA. 1974;228(11):1434. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230360058037

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


This book is based on 30 years' experience with more than 4,000 paraplegics and tetraplegics treated at the Stokes-Mandeveille Spinal Centre. Sir Ludwig opened this center in 1944, with one patient and 26 beds. His new concepts were that paraplegics should not only live, but have a purpose in life, that treatment should be comprehensive and include rehabilitation. Only recently has there been a surge of interest in the United States in helping civilian paraplegics, and Guttmann's book will prove invaluable to the staff of such centers, or, indeed, to any concerned person who deals with patients having spinal cord injuries.

The meat of this book starts with chapter 12, on the management of spinal fractures. Guttmann's conservatism and advocacy of traction for cervical injuries are in considerable contrast to Cloward's recent espousal of early operation (JAMA 226:1008, 1973). He does, however, advocate early debridement of gunshot and stab wounds.