Richard Von Volkmann 1830-1889
Von Volkmann was born in Leipzig, Germany and attended medical schools in Giessen, Halle, and Berlin. His father was the Professor of Anatomy and Physiology.
Starting in 1867, he worked as a professor of surgery at the University of Halle, also directing its medical clinic.
Like Lister and unlike many of his colleagues, Volkmann believed in maintaining a sterile environment during surgery . His status as a surgeon encouraged the acceptance of antiseptic practices. In 1878 Von Volkmann became the first surgeon to excise a cancerous rectum, while several years earlier, he discovered that long exposure to tar and paraffin can precipitate skin cancer.
In 1881, he provided the first clinical description of a contraction of the fingers, now known as Volkmann's contracture, caused by pressure or injury. He is well known to us for his instrument widely used today, the Volkmann's Spoon and Volkmann's bone currettes. Volkmann died in Jena, Germany, in 1889. 279