The beginnings of Orthopedic Surgery at the Mayo Clinic: A Review of the First Orthopedic Patients who Presented Over 100 Years Ago

Christopher L. Camp, Bernard F. Morrey, Robert T. Trousdale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Formalized training in the specialty of orthopedic surgery began at the Mayo Clinic nearly 100 years ago, and treatment of patients with musculoskeletal injuries and disease began even earlier. A robust historical patient database provides the opportunity for review of the first recorded orthopedic cases at our institution, which date back to 1907.

METHODS: The first 400 sequential medical charts of the Mayo Clinic's patient record database were comprehensively reviewed in order to identify the first documented orthopedic cases.

RESULTS: Of the first 400 patients reviewed, 15 (4%) received specific orthopedic diagnoses. All presented during a three week period in 1907, and they traveled from all over the region for evaluation. The diagnoses included skeletal tuberculosis (n=6), traumatic fracture (n=3), osteomyelitis (n=2), syphilitic pathologic fracture (n=1), syphilitic ostitis of the tibia and radius (n=1), painful flat foot (n=1), and Morton's toe (n=1). Included with the records are patient demographics, diagnoses, symptoms, physical examination findings, radiograph reports, operative reports, and detailed drawings of symptomatology.

CONCLUSION: Although the technology and science has advanced since the early practice of orthopedic surgery that took place over a century ago, we consider ourselves to be merely an extension of those who established the field before us. Just as the past relies on the future for the continuation of what it began so many years ago, we rely on our founders for the groundwork that they laid in creating this field of surgical medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-45
Number of pages5
JournalThe Iowa orthopaedic journal
Volume36
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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