[Skip to Navigation]
November 1956

Transplantation of the Spinal Cord for the Relief of Paraplegia

Author Affiliations

Rochester, Minn.
Section of Neurologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic.

AMA Arch Surg. 1956;73(5):757-763. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1956.01280050025006

Transplantation is defined as "the grafting of tissues taken from the same body or from another" in the 22d edition of "The American Illustrated Medical Dictionary," by Dorland. Strictly speaking, therefore, the operation herein discussed is not a transplantation, but for many years the moving of a structure to a new location to improve its function has been described as transplantation; for example, transplantation of the ulnar nerve for tardy palsy of the ulnar nerve1 and transplantation of the spinal cord as described by Hyndman in 1947.2 Erb and I3 also felt the term useful and descriptive and we employed it in our paper in 1949.

Transplantation of the spinal cord is most frequently employed in cases of paraplegia due to Pott's disease of the spinal column. Fortunately, owing to improved economic and hygienic levels in the United States and the introduction of agents that are destructive