Fritz Steinmann 1872-1932


Fritz Steinmann was born in Bern Switzerland. He is famous for his method for reducing fractures.

He invented a metal nail that was passed through the distal fragment of the break, and then traction was applied to reduce the fracture.

It is a device which is still in popular use today, everybody who works in orthopaedics is familiar with the pin. He first suggested it in 1908. He was a student of Kocher.

Martin Kirschner, German professor of surgery at Heidelberg, built on the skeletal traction techniques introduced by Steinmann The K wire was the result.

Steinmann was committed to a public argument regarding the priority of his traction apparatus . Italian orthopaedist Alessandro Codivilla had described a similar means of applying traction in 1903  and 1904 . In 1910, Codivilla publicly accused Steinmann of stealing his idea .

An impolite dialogue ensued between the two, and a series of rebuttals were published in a popular journal of the time .287

He died at the age of 60 whilst professor of the surgery of accidents at Bern in 1932. Although he will be mainly remembered for his traction nail, he contributed greatly to the treatment of gunshot wounds.




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