Little-known Swiss contributions to the description, diagnosis, and surgery of lumbar disc disease before the Mixter and Barr era

Stienen, Martin Nikolaus; Surbeck, Werner; Tröhler, Ulrich; Hildebrandt, Gerhard (2013). Little-known Swiss contributions to the description, diagnosis, and surgery of lumbar disc disease before the Mixter and Barr era. Journal of neurosurgery - spine, 19(6), pp. 767-773. American Association of Neurological Surgeons 10.3171/2013.8.SPINE121008

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The understanding of lumbar spine pathologies made substantial progress at the turn of the twentieth century. The authors review the original publication of Otto Veraguth in 1929 reporting on the successful resection of a herniated lumbar disc, published exclusively in the German language. His early report is put into the historical context, and its impact on the understanding of pathologies of the intervertebral disc (IVD) is estimated. The Swiss surgeon and Nobel Prize laureate Emil Theodor Kocher was among the first physicians to describe the traumatic rupture of the IVD in 1896. As early as 1909 Oppenheim and Krause published 2 case reports on surgery for a herniated lumbar disc. Goldthwait was the first physician to delineate the etiopathogenes is between annulus rupture, symptoms of sciatica, and neurological signs in his publication of 1911. Further publications by Middleton and Teacher in 1911 and Schmorl in 1929 added to the understanding of lumbar spinal pathologies. In 1929, the Swiss neurologist Veraguth (surgery performed by Hans Brun) and the American neurosurgeon Walter Edward Dandy both published their early experiences with the surgical therapy of a herniated lumbar disc. Veraguth's contribution, however, has not been appreciated internationally to date. The causal relationship between lumbar disc pathology and sciatica remained uncertain for some years to come. The causal relationship was not confirmed until Mixter and Barr's landmark paper in 1934 describing the association of sciatica and lumbar disc herniation, after which the surgical treatment became increasingly popular. Veraguth was among the first physicians to report on the clinical course of a patient with successful resection of a herniated lumbar disc. His observations should be acknowledged in view of the limited experience and literature on this ailment at that time.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)

UniBE Contributor:

Tröhler, Ulrich

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services

ISSN:

1547-5654

Publisher:

American Association of Neurological Surgeons

Language:

English

Submitter:

Doris Kopp Heim

Date Deposited:

23 Jan 2014 15:00

Last Modified:

12 Apr 2016 11:03

Publisher DOI:

10.3171/2013.8.SPINE121008

PubMed ID:

24074509

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.40026

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/40026

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