The specialty of spinal injuries in the UK

At the outset of the Second World War, spinal units were established in the UK, but they were little more than hospitals where patients with spinal injuries were received. The treatment was deplorable, with patients typically suffering from pressure sores and renal sepsis. In the south of England, a spinal unit was not established until the appointment in 1944 of Ludwig Guttmann, who was trained in rehabilitation, neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry and research. Guttmann devoted himself single-handedly to the care of his patients, turning and catheterising them himself.