Management of Spinal Disorders and Trauma in Avicenna’s Canon of Medicine

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Abstract

WE STUDY HISTORY in an attempt to achieve a wide perspective of life and reality. Spinal disorders, particularly spine traumas and their complications, have been one of the most challenging problems throughout the history of medicine and, indeed, throughout the history of humanity. The pioneers and founders of scientific medicine committed much of their lives to understanding these disorders. There is a paucity of historical documentation. From the extraordinary efforts of early practitioners, we may glean insight relevant to the more effective treatment of such debilitating disorders. Ibn Sina (Avicenna), who lived in the medieval period, was one such physician. His principal book of medicine, The Canon, played a fundamental role in the practice of medicine in the Eastern and Western worlds between the 11th and 17th centuries. In this book, published in the 11th century, he provided detailed accounts of spinal disorders and strategies for their management. Here, we provide a brief review of Avicenna’s most significant points concerning spinal diseases and their treatment from the chapters of the Canon. Although, there are not basic differences from Hippocratic knowledge, this book contains some original contributions.

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