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The history of stereotactic neurosurgery in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is reviewed. Horsley and Clarke's primate stereotaxy at the turn of the 20th century and events surrounding it are described, including Mussen's development of a human version of the apparatus. Stereotactic surgery after the Second World War is reviewed, with an emphasis on the pioneering work of Gillingham, Hitchcock, Knight, and Watkins and the contributions from Bennett, Gleave, Hughes, Johnson, McKissock, McCaul, and Dutton after the influences of Dott, Cairns, and Jefferson. Forster's introduction of gamma knife radiosurgery is summarized, as is the application of computed tomography by Hounsfield and Ambrose. Contemporary contributions to the present day from Bartlett, Richardson, Miles, Thomas, Gill, Aziz, Hariz, and others are summarized. The current status of British stereotactic neurosurgery is discussed.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





594 - 606


Great Britain, History, 19th Century, History, 20th Century, History, 21st Century, Humans, Neurosurgery, Stereotaxic Techniques