- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Robert Kienböck

Born  1871
Died  1953

Related eponyms

Austrian radiologist, born January 11, 1871, Vienna; died 1953.

Biography of Robert Kienböck

Robert Kienböck was born in Vienna and completed his medical studies at the university of his home town, where he received his doctorate in 1895. Following a year in London and Paris he became the assistant of Leopold von Schrötter (1837-1908) and devoted himself to the new science of radiology. He began using X-rays as early as in 1897, only two years after Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen's (1845-1923) epoch-making discovery.

He developed the use of X-rays diagnostically and therapeutically, and in 1899 he was able to open his own private X-ray institute in the Sanatorium Fürth, which eventually led to an independant department of radiology being established at the Allgemeines Krankenhaus in 1904. That year he received the Venia legendi for medical radiology, and became head of the radiological department of the Wiener Allgemeines Krankenhaus. He became titular professor in 1915 and was appointed professor extraordinary of this discipline in 1926.

Kienböcks achievement was particularly in the field of diseases of the skeleton and the treatment of these with radiological methods. Several pathological terms stil bear his name.

In 1910 he fell of his horse and fractures his skull. He changed into a quiet and withdrawn man and concentrated mainly on diagnostic use of X-rays, publishing an 8 volume work on the diagnosis of disorders of bones and joints. However, he suffered another attack of severe depression which lasted for many years.


  • Zur radiographischen Anatomie und Klinik der tuberculösen Erkrankrung der Fingerknochen, “spina ventosa”.
    Zeitschrift für Heilkunde, Abteilung Chirurgie, 1902, 23: 186.
  • Kritik der sogenannten "traumatischen Syringomyeli".
    Jahrbücher für Psychiatrie und Neurologie, Leipzig-Wien, 1902, 21: 50: 210.
  • Radiotherapie. Stuttgart, 1907.
  • Über Luxationen im Bereich der Handwurzel.
    Fortschritte auf dem Gebiete der Röntgenstrahlen, Leipzig, 1910-11, 16: 103-115.
  • Röntgenologie. Eine Revision ihrer technischen Einrichtungen und praktische Methoden.
    Published by Guido Holzknecht (1872-1931) and Robert Kienböck.
    2 parts. Berlin/Wien, Urban & Schwarzenberg, 1918-1924.
  • Neurofibromatose. With Hugo Rösler (1899-1961).
    Fortschritte auf dem Gebiete der Röntgenstrahlen. Suppementary volume 42. Leipzig, 1932.
We thank Rudolf Kleinert, Germany, and Patrick Jucker-Kupper, Switzerland, for information submitted.

What is an eponym?

An eponym is a word derived from the name of a person, whether real or fictional. A medical eponym is thus any word related to medicine, whose name is derived from a person.

What is Whonamedit?

Whonamedit.com is a biographical dictionary of medical eponyms. It is our ambition to present a complete survey of all medical phenomena named for a person, with a biography of that person.


Whonamedit? does not give medical advice.
This survey of medical eponyms and the persons behind them is meant as a general interest site only. No information found here must under any circumstances be used for medical purposes, diagnostically, therapeutically or otherwise. If you, or anybody close to you, is affected, or believe to be affected, by any condition mentioned here: see a doctor.