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May 1956

Spinal-Cord InjuriesA Fifteen-Year Survey

AMA Arch Surg. 1956;72(5):812-816. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1956.01270230076009

The subject to which we have addressed ourselves is a difficult one at best because the accumulation of reliable data in sufficient volume is a major undertaking; the occurrence of comparable cases from which to draw conclusions is infrequent, since the morbid physiology of the lesions is dynamic; follow-up studies are difficult, and in those cases in which the patients die autopsies may be refused, and in those cases in which the patients live the neurological analysis may be confused by related conditions, such as infection. Nonetheless, the very difficulties inherent in the situation demand that an effort be made to survey again critically the present state of therapy of spinal-cord injuries. The present study is an effort to clarify our own thinking in relation to the experience of one of us (J. P. E.) over the 17-year period (1937-1954) when he was in charge of the Neurosurgical Service at

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