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Letter to the Letter: The History of Fracture Fixation of the Hand and Wrist

Clawson, D Kay, MD

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Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®: October 2006 - Volume 451 - Issue - p 293
doi: 10.1097/01.blo.0000229367.42738.52
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To the Editor:

I was concerned when I read the excellent symposium on “Problem Fractures of the Hand and Wrist,” and saw that Sterling Bunnell and Roger Anderson were not referenced by Harness and Meals in their paper “The History of Fracture Fixation of the Hand and Wrist.”2 Some of the works of Bunnell and Anderson date back to the late 1930s and early 1940s. These two individuals were great American orthopaedic innovators and certainly deserve reference in any historical document regarding advances in hand surgery and fracture treatment.

I have Bunnell, 3rd edition from 1956, in which he writes about many of the problems and fixation techniques in Chapter 13, pages 785 to 827.1 However, Harness and Meals attribute this information to others. Roger Anderson used external pin fixation for wrist and metacarpal fractures dating back to the late 1930s and early 1940s. I am afraid we sometimes do not realize how many of the innovative advancements from earlier works fail to be referenced.

D. Kay Clawson, MD

Chandler Medical Center Lexington, KY


1. Bunnell S. Surgery of the Hand. 3rd ed. London, England: Pitman Medical Publishing Co Ltd; 1956:785-827.
2. Harness NG, Meals RA. The history of fracture fixation of the hand and wrist. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2006;445:19-29.
© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.