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December 1956

Pilonidal Sinus: Preliminary Report on a Fresh Approach

Author Affiliations

U. S. Army
From the Surgical Service, Brooke Army Hospital (Capt. Williamson).; Chief, Department of Surgery, and Chief, General Surgery Service, Brooke Army Hospital, Fort Sam Houston, Texas; Chief of Clinical Surgery, Army Medical Service School; Surgical Consultant, 4th Army Headquarters, and Professor of Surgery, Graduate School, Baylor University (Col. Bowers). † Capt. Williamson died July 8, 1956.

AMA Arch Surg. 1956;73(6):931-935. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1956.01280060031006

Introduction  The literature on pilonidal sinus has assumed voluminous proportions, replete with many cryptic andesoteric allegations as to etiology. These range from the philosophical observation that pilonidal sinus is an atavism relating to the preen gland of birds1 through the teleological assertion that the hairs grow inward and pull the hole after them.2 How these hairs attain sufficient traction with their free tips to accomplish this is not stated by the proponents of this theory. Numerous papers * cite the tremendous cost in man-days from hospitalization of servicemen with this condition, while the incidence in civilian life is low. This means, in part, that soldiers are hospitalized for infections which could be treated by civilians in the home. To a greater degree, it means that soldiers in a barrack or field environment suffer somewhat in personal hygiene, and in addition they are exposed to greater trauma from truck and

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