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September 1924


Author Affiliations

Associate Surgeon, Minneapolis General Hospital MINNEAPOLIS
From the Department of Surgery, University of Minnesota.

Arch Surg. 1924;9(2):365-412. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1924.01120080133008

HISTORICAL REVIEW  Early in the history of surgery, when surgeons were more concerned with the closure of wounds than in their making, metal was being implanted in the tissues. Fabricius,1 in 1647, wrote at length on the use of iron wire sutures, limiting their use, however, to the soft parts. Surviving the blind progress of the times, iron wire is again memorialized by Icart,2 who in 1775 cut down on a fractured bone and approximated the ends by suture. Laloy3 also relates the practice of wire suture by Flaubert of Rouen, and the literature of the period records various similar reports. It remained for Levert4 to make the first deliberate inquiry into the method, and in 1829 he performed a rather extended series of experiments on dogs to determine the tolerance to metallic sutures, using gold, silver, lead and platinum. The last he found to be

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