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November 1921


Author Affiliations

Surgeon to the University Hospital PHILADELPHIA

Arch Surg. 1921;3(3):543-559. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1921.01110090102002

In my lifetime, the history of neurologic surgery has been written, and the most important events have occurred in half that time. In limiting the development of this special field to this period, I am not unfamiliar with the fact that trephination was an accepted surgical procedure years before the days of Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, when the Egyptians trephined the skull for migraine and epilepsy, and that in the second century, Galen, whose favorite field of investigation was the nervous system, advocated sundry operations for injuries to the brain. He was familiar with the clinical picture of cord compression and recommended operation for its relief. While from Galen's time to the days of modern medicine, there have been isolated instances of operation, dealing with the nervous system, mostly for the relief of traumatic lesions, the growth and development of neurosurgery along broad lines and in an ever-widening zone

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