For several years I have admired the writings of Guido Costa Bertani, the founder and editor since 1936 of Revista Argentin de Reumatologia (the first rheumatological journal); he wrote at least 6 books and innumerable articles. Many of these were critical and did not agree with the "accepted" authoritarian views on rheumatism; recently he had written strongly against the abuse of the steroids. I had corresponded with him, and we had promised to meet at Rome Rheumatology Congress in September, 1961. Unfortunately he died suddenly in July, 1961.
Costa Bertani's last book, on sciatica, is both destructive and constructive. He points out that the prolapsed-disc theory has never been proved but has only been accepted because it agrees with the "furor quirurgico" of many surgeons. He is mystified by the almost universal belief that 95% of sciatic pains are surgical and can be relieved by decompression of nerve roots. Costa