Abstract

ABSTRACT In contemporary neurosurgery little attention is currently paid to the pericranium. The purpose of this article is to present how past surgeons have viewed this membrane and how they have reacted to its appearances. In ancient times, the pericranium was considered formed by the dura through the sutures and it retained a relationship with the dura via vessels in the sutures. It was considered advisable to strip it totally from any area to be examined for fissure fractures and also for any area to be trepanned, as pericranial injury led to fever and inflammation. In the eighteenth century, a new idea arose that posttraumatic spontaneous separation of the pericranium from the bone was a reliable indicator of the development of intracranial suppuration. This idea was subsequently refuted. The development of the osteoplastic bone flap imposed on the surgeon the need to ensure postoperative craniotomy closure included accurate apposition of the margins of the pericranium. With modern free bone flaps, this is no longer required. For over two millenia, the pericranium was considered to be an important membrane requiring the close attention of the surgeon. It is no longer required to receive more than minimal attention.

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