Jean-Andre Venal established the first orthopedic institute in 1780, which was the first hospital dedicated to treatment of skeletal deformities in children. Some consider him the father of orthopedics or first true orthopedist in consideration of the establishment of his hospital and for his published methods. Mathysen Antonius, Netherlands military surgeon, invented the plaster of Paris dated 1851. As happens in other fields of medicine, many advances in orthopedic surgery proved by experience during wartime. In the battlefields of the Middle Ages, the wounded were treated with bandages soaked in blood of horses (which will stiffen as it dries, but it is unhygienic). Traction and splinting were developed during WWI. Endomedulares the use of nails to treat fractures of the femur and tibia was pioneered by Dr. Kunchner of Germany.This differed significantly speed the recovery of injured German soldiers during World War II and led to a wider adoption of intramedullary fixation of fractures in the world. However, traction was the standard method for treating fractures of the femur to the late ’70s, when the Seattle Harborview group popularized intramedullary fixation without opening the fracture. External fixation of fractures was refined by American surgeons during the Vietnam War, but a major contribution was made by Gavril Ilizarov in the USSR. He was sent, without much orthopedic training, to care for wounded Russian soldiers in Siberia in the 50s. Without the necessary equipment, who confronted him with conditions which resulted in nonunion, infection, and misalignment of fractures. With the help of the local bicycle shop, came up with needles external fixators tensioned like the spokes of a bicycle.With this team, achieved healing, realignment and lengthening of a large number of fractures. Toronto (Canada), was an early center of excellence in orthopedic surgery, renowned for training and creative development, as the orthopedic surgical specialty was defined differently by the pioneer surgeon Robert I. Harris in the 50s. The generations of orthopedic surgeons who graduate from the program at the University of Toronto have contributed to many of the important achievements in orthopedics that have improved the lives of people with bone and joint injuries.
An outstanding example is the work of David L. Macintosh, which started the first successful surgery to reconstruct the torn anterior cruciate ligament of the knee. This common and serious injury in soccer, field athletes and dancers had invariably brought an early exit in activity due to ongoing instability.Working especially with injured players in his role as sports surgeon for the University of Toronto, devised a way to rebuild viable ligament from adjacent structures to maintain strong the complex mechanisms of the knee joint and restore stability through its range of motion, giving a fully functional joint. This, for the first time in history, could allow the athlete to return reliably to the demands of sports (even professionally) or dancing after a rehabilitation period. The two main variants of this repair Macintosh developed in the 60s and the 70s for the torn anterior cruciate ligament operations are conducted today. Although I had many predecessors, the modern total hip replacement is associated with Sir John Charnley in England (60). He found that joint surfaces could be replaced by implants of metal or high density polyethylene attached to methyl methotrexate bone cement.But since Charley have been continuous improvements in design and technique of joint replacement (arthroplasty) with many contributors, including WH Harris, the son of the refractive index of Harris, whose team at Harvard University began arthroplasty techniques denouncement integration with bone directly to the implant. Knee replacements using similar technology that was started by Macintosh in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and later by Gunston and Marmor for osteoarthritis in the 70s. Replacement modern condylar total knee was developed by Dr. John Insall and Dr. Chitosan Rainwater in New York. Compartmentalization knee replacement, in which only one compartment of an arthritic knee is replaced, it is a smaller operation and has become popular recently. Joint replacements are now available for many other articles carried in shoulder, elbow, wrist, finger and ankle.The trend now is to minimally invasive surgery in all forms of orthopedic surgery.