A Result in Surgery Theory We study the topological $4$-dimensional surgery problem for a closed connected orientable topological $4$-manifold $X$ with vanishing second homotopy and $\pi_1(X)\cong A * F(r)$, where $A$ has one end and $F(r)$ is the free group of rank $r\ge 1$. Our result is related to a theorem of Krushkal and Lee, and depends on the validity of the Novikov conjecture for such fundamental groups. Keywords:four-manifolds, homotopy type, obstruction theory, homology with local coefficients, surgery, normal invariant, assembly mapCategories:57N65, 57R67, 57Q10