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Post-Irradiation Fractures

Philip Rubin, M.D.
JAMA. 1961;176(6):549. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040190071022.
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To the Editor:—  I wish to commend you on the fine editorial which was published in The Journal, Jan. 21, page 255, regarding post-irradiation fractures of the femoral neck. The experience of Bickle, Childs, and Porretta at the Mayo Clinic is well recorded and most deserving of attention. The concept that radiation changes are progressive and irreversible is something which is continually being stressed in the literature without any tempering based on clinical experience.Articles such as these emphasize that although the underlying biologic process may be severely impaired, clinical healing and reversibility of the situation can occur. Since many of the patients who show such late radiation injuries have often been cured of cancer, it is important to dispel the pessimism regarding such late injuries. This is not only true of the bone but also applies to many other organ systems where proper surgical or medical care can make


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