The Edwin Smith papyrus: a clinical reappraisal of the oldest known document on spinal injuries
Dating from the seventeenth century b.c. the Edwin Smith papyrus is a unique treatise containing the oldest known descriptions of signs and symptoms of injuries of the spinal column and spinal cord. Based on a recent “medically based translation” of the Smith papyrus, its enclosed treasures in diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic reasoning are revisited. Although patient demographics, diagnostic techniques and therapeutic options considerably changed over time, the documented rationale on spinal injuries can still be regarded as the state-of-the-art reasoning for modern clinical practice.