Gerhard Kuntscher 1900-1972

 Everybody has heard of the "K" Nail or K wire it was Kuntscher who was the innovator of that device.

This surgeon was born in Germany in 1900. He was educated at Wurtzberg and Hamburg. He was made a Professor of Surgery in 1942.

He served with the German Army on the Eastern Front and when the war ended went back to what was left of Hamburg.

While in the Finnish Lapland from 1942 to 1944, Küntscher taught Finnish surgeons to do intramedullary nailings, which earned him recognition and respect in the orthopaedic community.

The war also prevented the knowledge of Kuntscher’s use of the IM nail to exit Germany. The German military had the upper hand in treating soldiers with the IM nail and having them return to fighting status in just a few weeks.

Worldwide knowledge was not established until the prisoners of war (POW’s) returned to their home countries carrying Kuntscher’s legacy in the form of steel nails in their legs. 260

He wrote several books and introduced femoral nailing in the 1930s. He is said to have died at his desk in Hamburg in 1972.

 

 

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Ken True History of Surgery and Anaesthesia