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Pankaj K. Agarwalla, Gavin P. Dunn and Edward R. Laws

The contemporary management of projectile head injuries owes much to the lessons neurosurgeons have distilled from their experiences in war. Through early investigation and an increasingly detailed account of wartime clinical experience, neurosurgeons—including the field's early giants—began to gain a greater understanding not only of intracranial missile pathophysiology but also of appropriate management. In this paper, the authors trace the development of the principles of managing intracranial projectile injury from the Crimean War in the 19th century through the Vietnam War to provide a context that frames a summary of today's core management principles.