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Neurosurgery. 1985 Dec;17(6):997-1010.

W. W. Keen: America's pioneer neurological surgeon.


The contributions of William Williams Keen to the development of neurological surgery were greater than those of any other American surgeon in the last quarter of the 19th century. His close association with S. Weir Mitchell, the father of American neurology, spanned more than 50 years. Keen's early publications included topics of neuroanatomical and neurophysiological interest. He was the first surgeon in America to remove a meningeal tumor and effect a cure and the first in America to stimulate the brain at operation. He made contributions to the surgical treatment of hydrocephalus, craniostenosis, torticollis, trigeminal neuralgia, and nervous system trauma. Keen's surgical texts provided an important foundation for Cushing, Frazier, and those that followed. Showered with honors as America's dean of surgery, Keen lived to see the many specialties evolve.

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