Arch Surg. 1937;35(3):528-547. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1937.01190150111010.
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Nearly as far back as one is able to peruse the annals of medical history one finds references to fractures and fracture-dislocations of the cervical portion of the spine. An injury involving this segment of the spine rightly struck terror into the heart of the surgeon who was called on to treat it. About 2500 B. C. the timidity of a surgeon regarding such an injury was recorded in a papyrus written during that period, in which it was stated:1 "One having a crushed vertebra in his neck, he is unconscious of his two arms and his two legs, and he is speechless. An ailment not to be treated." The reluctance to treat such a lesion can only be surmised.

Hippocrates2 formed a rational and sound plan for the treatment of a lesion of this type in the acute stage. His method consisted in extension of the head


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