On a purely logical basis it is obvious that when middle-ear adhesions prevent the ossicular chain from operating in a normal fashion the simplest procedure to follow is that of somehow breaking up the adhesions so that the mobility of the connection between tympanic membrane and oval window is restored. More than three-fourths of a century ago such techniques were tried with varying degrees of success. Speaking in terms of present-day audiometry, however, the techniques for measuring hearing were nowhere near as quantitative as those existing today and success was measured generally in terms of any noticeable improvement in hearing the spoken voice. Even with this generous (to the surgeon) method of determining "successful" surgery it was soon obvious that, to be specific, attempts to mobilize the stapes to restore hearing in cases of otosclerosis were not restoring hearing in more than about 25% of the patients. The "progress" of
LAWRENCE M, BURTON RD, WOLSK D. Acoustics of the Opened Periotic Vestibule. AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1959;69(4):449–456. doi:10.1001/archotol.1959.00730030459013
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