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January 1927


Author Affiliations

Instructor, Clinical Surgery, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Cornell University Medical College; Assistant Attending Surgeon, Hospital for the Ruptured and Crippled. NEW YORK

Arch Surg. 1927;14(1):29-45. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1927.01130130033003

The early recognition of a fracture or fracture-dislocation of the spine should not be a difficult task in the light of our present clinical and roentgenologic knowledge. The average physician feels that a person who is not paralyzed and who has not fallen from a considerable height is merely suffering from a strain of the back. The terms "fatality" and "permanent disability" invariably arise as a word picture in the mind of the physician and layman when thinking of fractures of the spine. The failure to request lateral views of the site of injury in addition to anterior posterior roentgenograms is to be condemned. The former are of far greater diagnostic value. Then again, the orthopedic surgeon is consulted late in the course of the condition, during which time the injured has developed an anxiety neurosis in addition to the already existing physical symptoms. This is hard to combat and

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