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May 1959

Principles Used in the Development of Modern Temporal Bone Surgery

Author Affiliations

New York
Lempert Institute of Otology, Lempert Research Foundation, Inc.

AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1959;69(5):515-528. doi:10.1001/archotol.1959.00730030527001

History  Modern otology can be said to have its origin in the 18th century. It is then that the first attempts were made to articulate principles which might guide the ear surgeon. In the light of later learning we see that in some instances the precepts of that day were not correctly formulated, nor were they clearly understood or applied. Surgical practice of that time seems to have swung between principles we now know are incorrect and those to which we still adhere. Even those views which later proved erroneous, however, had their place in the development of aural surgery and will be discussed briefly.The 18th Century.—Jean Louis Petit, working in France in the 1750's, had operated successfully for suppurative mastoiditis by trephining the mastoid process. It was confirmed in his published papers (which, however, came out after his death) that he understood this important principle, namely, that

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