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April 1929


Author Affiliations

From the Surgical Clinic of the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital.

Arch Surg. 1929;18(4):1140-1164. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1929.01140130230010

The term cordotomy, as applied to the operation of that name, although theoretically meaning an incision anywhere into the spinal cord, is now generally considered to refer to an incision which divides the anterolateral fiber tracts. This procedure was devised by Spiller, in 1912, to relieve intractable pain in the legs or lower part of the body, and in the same year the operation was performed for the first time by Martin.1 In 1920, and again in 1923, Frazier2 reported two different series of cases in which he had performed the operation. In each series the results were largely successful. Reports by other surgeons have appeared since those of Spiller and Martin and of Frazier, notably the ones of Leighton3 in 1921; of Peet4 in 1926, and of Foerster5 in 1927. Also, in 1927, a complete review of the subject with the report of a