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T. Glenn Pait and Justin T. Dowdy

The 35th president of the United States, John F. Kennedy (JFK), experienced chronic back pain beginning in his early 20s. He underwent a total of 4 back operations, including a discectomy, an instrumentation and fusion, and 2 relatively minor surgeries that failed to significantly improve his pain. The authors examined the nature and etiology of JFK’s back pain and performed a detailed investigation into the former president’s numerous medical evaluations and treatment modalities. This information may lead to a better understanding of the profound effects that JFK’s chronic back pain and its treatment had on his life and presidency, and even his death.

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Justin Dowdy and T. Glenn Pait

The treatment of craniospinal war wounds proved to be a significant driving force in the early growth of neurosurgery as a specialty. This publication explores the historical relationship between the evolution of combat methodology from antiquity through modern conflicts as it dovetails with and drives corresponding advancements in the field of neurosurgery.

Whether it's the basic management principles for intracranial projectile wounds derived from World War I experiences, the drastic improvement in the outcomes and management of spinal cord injuries observed in World War II, or the fact that both of these wars played a crucial role in the development of a training system that is the origin of modern residency programs, the influence of wartime experiences is pervasive.

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Monir Tabbosha, Justin Dowdy and T. Glenn Pait

Over the past several decades, many advancements and new techniques have emerged regarding the instrumentation and stabilization of the upper cervical spine. In this article, the authors describe a novel technique in which a unilateral lag screw was placed to reduce and stabilize a progressively widening fracture and nonunion of the right C-1 lateral mass approximately 8 weeks after the initial injury, which was sustained when a large tree branch fell onto the patient's posterior head and neck.