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J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2015 Oct;16(4):472-6. doi: 10.3171/2014.12.PEDS14484. Epub 2015 Jul 17.

John Howship (1781-1841) and growing skull fracture: historical perspective.

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Department of Neurosurgery, LSU Health Shreveport, Louisiana.


In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Dr. John Howship, a pioneering British surgeon, described the clinical features and pathophysiology of various surgical disorders of the human body. His critical contributions to pediatric neurosurgery came in 1816 when he first described the features of an important childhood condition following head trauma, what he referred to as parietal bone absorption. This condition as depicted by Dr. Howship was soon to be christened by later scholars as traumatic cephalhydrocele, traumatic meningocele, leptomeningeal cyst, meningocele spuria, fibrosing osteitis, cerebrocranial erosion, and growing skull fracture. Nevertheless, the basic features of the condition as observed by Dr. Howship were virtually identical to the characteristics of the above-mentioned disorders. This article describes the life and accomplishments of Dr. Howship and his contributions to the current understanding of growing skull fracture.


GSF = growing skull fracture; John Howship; growing skull fracture; historical perspective

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