- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Syme's amputation

Alternative eponyms

  • Syme's operation

Related people

An amputation at the ankle with removal of the malleoli and formation of a heel flap.

Description

An amputation at the ankle with removal of the malleoli and formation of a heel flap. Before this technique, the common surgical method for compound fractures of the tibia and fibula was to amputate at the thigh. The significant outcome of Syme's technique, in respect to prostheses, was that the patient had a foundation to walk on instead of cutting off the entire leg. The full length of the shank provided the typical weight bearing of a normal heel, with sensation and proprioception (the capability to sense where your leg is in space) that was not available before.

Bibliography

  • J. Syme:
    Amputation at the ankle-joint.
    London and Edinburgh Monthly Journal of Medical Science, 1843, 3: 93-94.
    The operation was first successfully performed by Syme on September 8, 1842. A modification of Syme's amputation, known as Mackenzie's operation, was introduced by the Scottish surgeon Richard James Mackenzie (1821-1854) six years later:
  • R. J. Mackenzie:
    On amputation at the ankle-joint by internal lateral flap.
    Monthly Journal of Medical Science, Edinburgh, 1849, 9: 951-954.

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.

Disclaimer:

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.