The Evolution of the Surgical Treatment of Sports Injuries in the 20th Century: A Historical Perspective

Surg Innov. 2016 Oct;23(5):538-42. doi: 10.1177/1553350616663324. Epub 2016 Aug 12.


Sports injuries have been a major issue in medicine, surgery, and especially in orthopedics since the classical antiquity era. The 20th century, with its progress and innovations, changed the general concept of treating these injuries forever. The purpose of this review is to show how innovations in surgery in the 20th century changed the rationale of treating sports injuries. In this historical review, we present innovations concerning fracture treatment, spine injury treatment, and anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction related to sports injuries. In addition, we present and record those surgical techniques and the pioneer surgeons who first used them.

Keywords: image-guided surgery; orthopedic surgery; spine surgery; surgical education.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries / history
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries / surgery
  • Arthroscopy / history
  • Arthroscopy / methods
  • Athletic Injuries / history*
  • Athletic Injuries / surgery*
  • Female
  • Fracture Fixation / history
  • Fracture Fixation / methods
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Orthopedic Procedures / history*
  • Orthopedic Procedures / methods*
  • Prognosis
  • Recovery of Function
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult