The history of neurosurgery

Usually they say that neurosurgery is a young science, which is relatively new - 90-100 years ago - was separated from the General surgery and gradually developed into an independent field of medicine. At the beginning of this century, only private virtuoso surgeons were solved sometimes operate on the brain.
However, it should be said that some of the operations that can be called neurosurgical, was made in ancient times.
A detailed description of the equipment craniotomies we find in the work of Hippocrates "About the wounds of the head," written some 2,000 years ago. In X-XI centuries, at the Kyivan Rus, unknown to us doctors dared to do craniotomies. This is evidenced by archaeological findings made in 1949 in the area of ancient Slavic town of Belaya Vezha. But, of course, from the first attempts of surgical treatment of head injuries to the modern scientific neurosurgery approximately the same distance as from the first balloon to a jet plane.
Turning to the sources of neurosurgery in our country, we should remember that in the beginning of XVIII century the first Russian military hospitals were equipped surgical instruments for the production of trepanate skull.
Almost two hundred years ago Russian surgeons had knowledge that enabled them in some cases successfully cured severe injuries of the brain. About it, in particular by the following historical fact.
In 1774 the great Russian commander M. I. Kutuzov, as a young officer in the battle near Alushta was wounded in the head by a bullet through. Fourteen years later, in 1788, during the siege of Ochakov. M. I. Kutuzov was awarded the second heavy wound to the head. He was treated by a distinguished surgeon, Professor of Moscow University, E. O. Mukhin first teacher N. I. Pirogov.
Despite all the imperfections of medicine, E. O. Mukhin managed not only to save the life of M. I. Kutuzov, but also to preserve his health and the talent of a military leader who so clearly manifested in the period of the Patriotic war of 1812.
The Foundation of scientific neurosurgery in our country was founded the famous scientist and Clinician "the father of Russian surgery" N. I. Pirogov. In his classic work "the Beginning of a common military-field surgery" we find descriptions of the various brain damage and methods of their treatment. On the basis of its rich surgical experience N. I. Pirogov was the first scientific theory, which explained the reasons for the development of swelling of the brain after injury. Despite the tremendous progress of science in subsequent decades, this theory has not lost the value and now.
The first Russian neurosurgical Department of the clinic of nervous diseases of the Military medical Academy was created in 1898, an outstanding scientist and Clinician academician C. M. Bekhterev. However, the Department did not last long. Only after the Great October revolution, when the Soviet state has created all conditions for unrestricted development of science, N. N. Burdenko in Moscow and A. L. Polenov in Leningrad has laid a solid scientific Foundation on which grew rapidly building home neurosurgery.
The merit of the creation and establishment of domestic neurosurgery as a separate field of medicine belongs to academician Nikolai Nilovich Burdenko, who was a prominent scientist, the recognized head of the Soviet medical science. N. N. Burdenko combined quality of outstanding surgeon Clinician and a brilliant experimenter-physiologist.
The great Patriotic war was the harsh school for the Soviet neurosurgeons. Tens of thousands wounded in the head and spine, tens of thousands of difficult operations... And now, looking back at those unforgettable years, we with feeling of deep satisfaction I can say that the Soviet neurosurgery stood the severe test of the war, was enriched with the valuable scientific and practical experience, saved the lives and health of many thousands of our people.
Thus, needed many decades of hard creative work and thin clinical observations, it took tremendous progress of medicine in General, in order on the basis of the achievements of neuropathology, General surgery, physiology, radiology, Microbiology and modern technology could be developed neurosurgery.
Special complexity of this science is due primarily to the fact that the main object of the study is the human brain is the organ of consciousness and thinking.
Persistent and inquisitive mind of man has created many of the most complicated machines - jet and an electron microscope, the giant turbines and countably analytical machines. But whatever surprisingly complex and perfect seem to us the design of any created by human labor machines, it is always significantly less complex than highly organized matter - the brain of man.
The nervous system is "unspeakable complex and subtle instrument of communication, communication numerous parts of the body between a and organism as complex systems with infinite number of external influences". So characterized the value of the brain, the great Russian physiologist I. P. Pavlov.

  • Briefly about the structure of the brain