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May 1972

Pain and the Neurosurgeon: A 40-Year Experience.

Author Affiliations

Burlington, Vt

Arch Intern Med. 1972;129(5):841-842. doi:10.1001/archinte.1972.00320050165034

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The best way to characterize this book is to quote Sir Geoffrey Jefferson, one of the outstanding British neurosurgeons of this century, who, in his preface to the first edition of this volume said: "This book is concerned with pain, not as a warning signal, but as an enemy that can be defeated." Wilder Penfield, in his preface to the present, second edition, presumably taking into account the advances of medicine in general and of pain chemotherapy in particular, refined the problem by emphasizing intractable pain.

There can be no question that while the applications of neurosurgical techniques for relief of pain must be considered extremely limited, the results can be most rewarding. One might look at the problem by stating that most forms of pain need only temporary relief while the condition producing the pain is either cured or resolved. Surgery should be reserved for relief of pain produced

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