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Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2008 Feb;466(2):500-6. doi: 10.1007/s11999-007-0007-4. Epub 2008 Jan 10.

Richard von Volkmann: surgeon and Renaissance man.

Author information

1
Department of Surgery, Military Hospital Ulm, Ulm, Germany.

Abstract

Richard von Volkmann (1830-1889), one of the most important surgeons of the 19(th) century, is regarded as one of the fathers of orthopaedic surgery. He was a contemporary of Langenbeck, Esmarch, Lister, Billroth, Kocher, and Trendelenburg. He was head of the Department of Surgery at the University of Halle, Germany (1867-1889). His popularity attracted doctors and patients from all over the world. He was the lead physician for the German military during two wars. From this experience, he compared the mortality of civilian and war injuries and investigated the general poor hygienic conditions in civilian hospitals. This led him to introduce the "antiseptic technique" to Germany that was developed by Lister. His powers of observation and creativity led him to findings and achievements that to this day bear his name: Volkmann's contracture and the Hueter-Volkmann law. Additionally, he was a gifted writer; he published not only scientific literature but also books of children's fairy tales and poems under the pen name of Richard Leander, assuring him a permanent place in the world of literature as well as orthopaedics.

PMID:
18196438
PMCID:
PMC2505124
DOI:
10.1007/s11999-007-0007-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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