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Tractotomy

A tractotomy is the operation of crossing the pathways of the spinal cord or brain in order to stop the pathological impulses to the higher and lower parts of the nervous system.

A tractotomy can be performed at the level of the spinal cord ( cordotomy ), the medulla oblongata (tabloid chordotomy, bulbar tractotomy), the midbrain (mesencephalic tractotomy), and the large brain (thalamocortical tractotomy).

The main indications for tractotomy are unquenchable pain syndromes that are not amenable to conservative therapy and interventions on the peripheral nervous system.