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To the Editor:—
In The Journal for Dec. 3, 1960, p. 1881, your correspondent in the United Kingdom mentions the recent deaths of 2 noted British surgeons, Sir Gordon Gordon Taylor and Sir Harold Gillies. The letter gives the impression that Gillies was the originator of the external skeletal fixation apparatus for the treatment of jaw fractures. In his book, however, he states that this was brought to his attention late in 1940 by F. W. Waknitz, an American member of the orthopedic unit and was a Roger Anderson apparatus intended for phalangeal fractures adapted for the purpose. Gillies made so many more significant contributions to plastic surgery, that it seems strange that this relatively minor item of technique should be singled out for special mention by your correspondent.The basic principle of external pin fixation of fractures is believed to have been formulated originally by Parkhill, who in 1897
Ivy RH. The Late Sir Harold Gillies. JAMA. 1961;175(12):1111-1112. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040120073029