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100 Years of British military neurosurgery: on the shoulders of giants.

Authors
  • Roberts, S A G
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of the Royal Naval Medical Service
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2015
Volume
101
Issue
1
Pages
20–27
Identifiers
PMID: 26292388
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Death from head injuries has been a feature of conflicts throughout the world for centuries. The burden of mortality has been variously affected by the evolution in weaponry from war-hammers to explosive ordnance, the influence of armour on survivability and the changing likelihood of infection as a complicating factor. Surgery evolved from haphazard trephination to valiant, yet disjointed, neurosurgery by a variety of great historical surgeons until the Crimean War of 1853-1856. However, it was events initiated by the Great War of 1914-1918 that not only marked the development of modern neurosurgical techniques, but our approach to military surgery as a whole. Here the author describes how 100 years of conflict and the input and intertwining relationships between the 20th century's great neurosurgeons established neurosurgery in the United Kingdom and beyond.

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