- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Kümmell's disease

Related people

Historical term for late posttraumatic collapse of a vertebral body. Injury (without fracture) of a vertebra which produces gradual compression and collapse of the vertebral body due to circulatory disorders with resulting rarefying osteitis. Pain, weakness, kyphosis, and a wedge-shaped vertebra are the principal symptoms. The initial injury may be seemingly trivial. The disease occurrs primarily in middle age and the elderly.


  • H. Kümmell:
    Traumatische rarefizierende Ostitis. Verhandlungen der Gesellschaft Deutscher Naturforscher und Ärzte, Leipzig, (1891), 1892: 282.185.
  • H. Kümmell:
    Über die traumatischen Erkrankungen der Wirbelsäule.
    Deutsche medicinische Wochenschrift, Berlin, 1895, 21: 180-181.
    Kümmell described a series of six patients who sustained "vertebral body collapse" after seemingly minor trauma.
  • H. Kümmell:
    Der heutige Standpunkt der posttraumatischen Wirbelerkrankung (Kümmellsche Krankheit).
    Archiv für orthopädische und Unfall-Chirurgie, München, 1928; 26: 471.

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.