but the paralysis was of short duration
- Fig. 2. —
To show line of incision. Photograph taken on fifth day after operation. All sutures were removed on the second day, except the most anterior one< : as scar was almost invisible this one was left to delimit anterior end of incision in photograph. No drainage used.
- Fig. 3. —
Postoperative areas of anaesthesia ; total within inner line. Scars of earlier peripheral operation observable under eye and angle of jaw.
- Fig. 4. —
Two weeks after operation. Almost total restoration of movement of occipito-frontalis, temporarily paralyzed in this case.
The article concerns a new procedure that preserves the “upper twig of the facial nerve” (Pes anserinus) rather than sacrificing it, as was previously done. Cushing was a leading and pioneering neurosurgeon of his time.
What strikes me here is the liveliness of the patient, her striking (and even modern!) hairstyle (shaved for the surgical procedure, of course), and her beauty (under duress of the surgery). I like even the collar of her sweater (or robe?). I wonder who she was, what life held in store for her. An impression I take from looking through scanned volumes of the Annals of Surgery is that a good number of the patients who are shown in photographs, were African American / mulatto — I wonder if that is the case here. Something about her — the passion in her face? her eyes? — brings Renée Jeanne Falconetti (1892-1946 *) to mind, in her role as Joan of Arc in Carl Theodor Dreyer’s silent film La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc (1928 *).
epigram from page 4
paralysis; passion; tangents; H. Cushing, “On preservation of the nerve supply to the brow” (1906)