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GEORGE A. L. INGE, M.D., D.Sc. (Med.)
JAMA. 1938;111(27):2451-2455. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790530005003.
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The excision of a chronically inflamed synovial membrane for the relief of pain and the improvement of function in a joint is a relatively recent surgical procedure, its general use in this country being confined to the past fifteen years. The first synovectomy is said to have been performed by Volkmann1 in 1877 in a case of tuberculous synovitis of the knee, but the operation seems to have fallen into disrepute after the prompt recurrence of the disease in this first case. In 1899 the Frenchman Mignon2 published the first paper concerning synovectomy, and, although Goldthwaite3 in 1900 and John B. Murphy4 in 1916 reported cases in which they had performed the operation, it was Swett5 of Hartford who in 1923 drew the attention of the orthopedic profession in this country to the possibilities of synovectomy and to some of the factors in the proper


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