An orthopaedic conquest: the first inter-human tissue transplantation

Berardo Di Matteo, Vittorio Tarabella, Giuseppe Filardo, Patrizia Tomba, Anna Viganò, Maurilio Marcacci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Nineteenth century Scottish surgeon William Macewen performed, in 1879, the first inter-human living donor transplantation in medical history. It was a bone allograft performed on a 3-year-old boy affected by a huge humeral bone loss. This paper analyses the historical context around Macewen, briefly introducing his life and the discoveries made by Lister and by the pioneers of anaesthesia. It focuses on the details of the bone allograft procedure invented by Macewen. He was both a basic researcher and a skilled surgeon, a combination that is rare nowadays. The paper includes a description of the surgical procedure and is also enriched by the reproduction of the original image used by Macewen in his 1881 article to explain the clinical evolution. William Macewen was one of the greatest pioneers in musculoskeletal medicine whose brilliant intuition led to the origin and development of bone grafting, one of the most common orthopaedic procedures in the world today.

Level of evidence V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2585-2590
Number of pages6
JournalKnee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy
Volume22
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 21 2014

Fingerprint

Tissue Transplantation
Orthopedics
Bone and Bones
Allografts
Orthopedic Procedures
Intuition
Bone Transplantation
Living Donors
Reproduction
Anesthesia
Transplantation
Research Personnel
Medicine
Surgeons

Keywords

  • Bone allograft
  • First bone transplantation
  • History of medicine
  • Living donor transplantation
  • William Macewen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

An orthopaedic conquest : the first inter-human tissue transplantation. / Di Matteo, Berardo; Tarabella, Vittorio; Filardo, Giuseppe; Tomba, Patrizia; Viganò, Anna; Marcacci, Maurilio.

In: Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy, Vol. 22, No. 11, 21.10.2014, p. 2585-2590.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Di Matteo, Berardo ; Tarabella, Vittorio ; Filardo, Giuseppe ; Tomba, Patrizia ; Viganò, Anna ; Marcacci, Maurilio. / An orthopaedic conquest : the first inter-human tissue transplantation. In: Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy. 2014 ; Vol. 22, No. 11. pp. 2585-2590.
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