Orthopaedics, like many specialties, has developed through a necessity. A necessity to correct deformity, restore function and alleviate pain. Orthopaedic surgeons have developed an ability to prevent major losses of bodily function and indeed they can prevent otherwise inevitable death. They seek perfection of their art, by ensuring that the patient reaches optimal condition in the shortest period of time by the safest possible method.
History is very important to any surgeon, particularly the Orthopaedic surgeon. The Orthopaedic surgeon has once again been presented with advancing technology. This technology must be applied to the surgeon's practice, but it is best applied only when the surgeon has an underlying knowledge of the history of his art. He must be aware of the way surgeons in the past have contributed to Orthopaedics and more importantly, of the mistakes but they have made in the process. The surgeon who makes a mistake that was made by someone before him, is surely humbled and seen as poorly educated. So is he who states that he has developed a technique that no one has thought of before, because chances are that it has been thought of in the past.
In order for Orthopaedics to advance in an optimal manner, it is clear that attention must be paid to a history of Orthopaedics. The past is our foundation for future developments, we must build upon it so that we too can act as a stable foundation for future generations.