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Ther Umsch. 1996 Oct;53(10):716-23.

[Knee problems from a medical history viewpoint].

[Article in German]

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Orthopädische Universitätsklinik Balgrist, Zürich.


Knee-joint problems have worried our medical ancestors time and again and made them search for unconventional solutions. Four small case studies are meant to give the reader an insight into the paleopathology and medical history of knee-joint diseases. A grotesquely deformed knee-joint of a young ladies' tailor from the hospital cemetery of Basle (1846) has been investigated paleopathologically and led to the diagnosis of a severe knee-joint tuberculosis. Based on the rediscovered written legacy of the Zurich country doctor Felix Heusser (1817-1875), his significance as an up to now underrated pioneer of knee-joint resection is illustrated. The example of the first knee-endoprosthesis invented by Themistocles Gluck (1853-1942) demonstrates how an ingenious idea can very seriously affect the career of a very promising physician. Another milestone in knee surgery, the invention of knee arthroscopy by the controversial Argovian surgeon, military commander and politician Eugen Bircher (1882-1956), deserves once more our attention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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