Now, doctors have the great technology which helps them to move quickly then the doctors in the past.

Spinal Cord Injury—Past, Present, and Future 2007

This special report traces the path of spinal cord injury (SCI) from ancient times through the present and provides an optimistic overview of promising clinical trials and avenues of basic research. The spinal cord injuries of Lord Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson, President James A. Garfield, and General George Patton provide an interesting perspective on the evolution of the standard of care for SCI. The author details the contributions of a wide spectrum of professionals in the United States, Europe, and Australia, as well as the roles of various government and professional organizations, legislation, and overall advances in surgery, anesthesia, trauma care, imaging, pharmacology, and infection control, in the advancement of care for the individual with SCI.

Keywords: Spinal cord injuries, Spinal cord medicine, History, Munro, Donald, Guttman, Ludwig, Young, John, Bors, Ernest, Comarr, A. Estin, Rossier, Alain
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As with most other topics, in order to acquire a complete understanding of spinal cord injury (SCI), one must appreciate the events that comprise its past, present, and future. This “trinity of time” for SCI has a most interesting past, an exciting present, and a very promising future.

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Nowadays, in science as in industry, much emphasis is placed on the future and the shaping of the present so that it leads directly to some desired outcome. Often overlooked in the planning of such quests are the events that have preceded them and how they have shaped the present. Understanding those events can give one a better grasp of the reasons that justify one's pursuits. We tend to forget the admonition of the well-known Spanish philosopher, George Santayana (1863–1952) who while teaching at Harvard University in the US said, “Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness…. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (1) This advice is especially worth remembering when it comes to SCI, which actually has a rich, absorbing past that harks back a long way to roughly 2,500 years BCE. We know this from the writings inscribed in the Edwin Smith surgical papyrus.