- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Eduard Albert

Born  1841-01-20
Died  1900-09-26

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Czech surgeon, born January 20, 1841, Žamberk, Czech Republic, then Senftenberg in the Kingdom of Bohemia, a part of Austria-Hungary. Died September 26, 1900, Žamberk.

Biography of Eduard Albert

Eduard Albert studied at the University of Vienna, mainly as a pupil of Salomon Stricker (1834-1898) and Johann von Dumreicher (1815-1880). He was conferred doctor of medicine in 1867, and that year became operator and assistant under Dumreicher in the surgical clinic of Vienna. He was habilitated in 1872, and in 1873 was appointed full professor at the surgical clinic in Innsbruck. In 1881 he was appointed to the more prestigious chair of surgery in Vienna, lecturing in front of an audience of some 500 people. He held this position until 1900.

In 1842, during the professorship of Joseph von Wattman (1779-1866) from 1830-1847, the surgical service at Vienna had been split into first and second surgical division. Johann Dumreicher became head of the first division, to be succeeded by Eduard Albert, who was professor from 1881 to 1900. Albert's overlapping service with Billroth caused great rivalry.

Albert learned of Joseph Lister's (1827-1912) antiseptic procedures during Lister's personal demonstration of it in Munich, and introduced his principles in Innsbruck, making antiseptics mandatory during all wound treatments. He wrote that these methods would demand a total revision of surgical practices. His 4-volume textbook Lehrbuch der Chirurgie was the first ever surgical textbook based on the principles of antiseptic treatment. It ran through 4 editions and was published in Russian and French.

Albert is best known for producing "artificial ankyloses" in paralysed limbs. He performed tarsal and shoulder arthrodesis for paralysis and recurrent dislocation, and was the first to use the term "arthrodesis". He was the first to conduct a nerve graft, and before Richard von Volkmann (1830-1889) he did an extirpation of the capsule in tuberculosis of the joints. He probably also made the first extirpation of the thyroid gland, and introduced jejunostomy and nephrectomy. He introduced chymographical determination on living persons, and before Jean Martin Charcot (1825-1893) pointed at the ischiac scoliosis.

His most important pupils were Adolf Lorenz (1854-1946), Julius Hochenegg (1859-940), A. Frank and Emerich Ullmann (1861-), Julius Schnitzler (1865-), Carl Ewald (1865-) and Johann Habart (1845-1902).

We thank Renata Kulichova for information submitted.


  • Lehrbuch der Chirurgie und Operationslehre.
    1875? 2nd ed, Vienna, 1882-1883.
    Italian translation by A. Dandolo & L. Resegotti: Trattato di chirurgia e di medicina operatoria per medici pratici e studenti. 5 volumes. Milano, Vallardi, 1893-1900.
  • Vorlesungen über chirurgische Diagnostik.
    2nd edition, Vienna, 1882; 8th edition, 1899.
  • Einige Fälle von kunstlicher Ankylosenbildung an paralytischen Gliedmassen.
    Wiener medizinische Presse, 1882, 23: 725-728.
    English translation in Bick, Classics of orthopaedics, 52-54.
    Albert introduced the concept of joint arthrodesis into orthopaedic surgery. This is the first description of arthrodesis of an ankle for paralytic foot.
  • Beiträge zur Geschichte der Chirurgie. Vienna.
  • Beiträge zur operativen Chirurgie.
    A collection of smaller works.
  • Vorlesungen über chirurgie. Diagnostik.
  • Achillodynie. Wiener medizinische Presse, 1893, 34: 41-43.
  • Zwei Gedenkreden auf Theodor Billroth.
    Offprint from Wiener klinische Wochenschrift, number 8, 1894, and number 7, 1895. 7 + 11 pages.
  • Zur Lehre von der Coxa vara und Coxa valga. Vienna 1899.
  • Der Mechanismus der skoliotischen Wirbelsäule. Vienna 1899.
  • Die seitlichen Kniegelengsverkrümmungen und die kompensatorischen Fussformen. Vienna 1899.
We thank Rudolf Kleinert, Bad Reichenhall, Germany, for information submitted.

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