The earlier work on the internal fixation of bone was done with corrosive metals, because suitable noncorrosive metals were not available. For the most part, surgeons emphasized aseptic technic and adequate mechanical fixation as the important factors in determining the success or the failure of an operation. For instance, Groves,1 as a result of 100 experiments on animals, concluded that ordinary steel plates were well tolerated by the tissues and that long plates fixed with cotter pins were more efficient than short plates fixed with screws, because the screws soon became loose when subjected to mechanical force and caused the fixation to fail before union occurred.
There was, however, some interest in the reaction of tissues to various metals, and von Baeyer,2 in 1908, in an extensive monograph described the cellular reaction around pieces of metal which were left buried in the tissues for varying periods. The metallic
KEY JA. STAINLESS STEEL AND VITALLIUM IN INTERNAL FIXATION OF BONEA COMPARISON. Arch Surg. 1941;43(4):615-626. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1941.01210160076011