Article ID: CBB001420786

A History of Depressed Skull Fractures from Ancient Times to 1800 (2014)


The story of managing depressed fractures illustrates how knowledge of proven value does not always get handed down. Celsus was the first to describe sensible management for depressed fractures. As he wrote in Latin this was forgotten. Galen's Greek writings survived forming the basis of management until the sixteenth century. In 1517, Hans von Gersdorff published a formidable illustrated surgical text. One illustration depicts an instrument for elevating depressed bone fragments. It looked dramatic but could not work and its defects were finally defined in the eighteenth century. Ambroise Paré used a bone punch just as we do today, but no later surgeon mentions this, though the instrument was well known. Elements of chance, fashion, emotionally powerful illustrations, and perhaps stubbornness had a profound effect on management delaying rational treatment for centuries.

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Authors & Contributors
Paré, Ambroise
DeVries, Kelly R.
Martín Ferreira, Ana Isabel
Manzoni, Tullio
Flemming, Rebecca
Dumaître, Paule
Canadian Bulletin of Medical History/Bulletin Canadien d'Histoire de la Medecine
Medizinhistorisches Journal
Histoire des Sciences Médicales
Dynamis: Acta Hispanica ad Medicinae Scientiarumque Historiam Illustrandam
Journal of Medical Biography
University of Georgia Press
Il lavoro editoriale
Oxford University Press
Museum of London Archaeology
Medicine, general histories
Bone and bones
Paré, Ambroise
Celsus, Aulus Cornelius
Vesalius, Andreas
Hippocrates of Cos
Barker, Herbert Atkinson, Sir
Spain; Portugal
Great Britain
London (England)
16th century
19th century
20th century

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