The Neurosurgical Control of Pain
Levy, Laurence Fraser
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Pain is a warning of danger and ipso facto performs one of the primary functions of the nervous system. For this reason destruction of the recording mechanism is to be viewed with concern and a very careful assessment must be made of the balance sheet weighing up the benefits to be obtained from control of the pain against other disadvantages which may result. For example, one would hesitate to cut the posterior root of L. 5 because the resulting anaesthesia would almost certainly allow some trophic ulceration of the foot, while a much less serious view would be taken of the posterior roots of the intercostal nerves, since the resulting anaesthesia carries with it no such risk. On the other hand, pain can be an enemy as well as a friend.