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Fred Houdlett Albee

Born  1876-04-13
Died  1945

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American orthopedic surgeon, born April 13, 1876, Alna, Maine; died 1945.

Biography of Fred Houdlett Albee

Fred Houdlett Albee was a famous New York orthopaedic surgeon who is remembered for his application of mechanical methods to bone operations and for devising a number of operations and procedures, which bear his name. In 1908 he devised an operation for surgical ankylosis of the hip and in 1911 he described his operation for spinal fusion whereby a portion of the tibia is transplanted into the spine. He also devised a bone mill and a fracture table as well as a bone saw for cutting bone grafts.

Albee studied at Harvard Medical School, at Massachusetts General Hospital, and worked scientifically at the Cornell Clinic in New York. He began his practice in Waterbury, Connecticut, and later settled in New York. Here he worked at the Hospital for the Ruptured and Crippled. He was later consultant orthopaedic surgeon to more than twenty hospitals in New York, New Jersey, Vermont, and Florida, consulting surgeon to several hospitals and was director of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. He was professor of orthopaedic surgery at N. Y. Post Graduate School and Hospital. His scientific work concerns the autogenous bone grafting by using the Albee electro-operative bone mill (Knochenmühle).

Albee was the first to employ living bone grafts as internal splints. His cutting machines and surgical saws were fully explained in the classic treatise on bone graft surgery.


  • Bone-graft surgery. Philadelphia, W. B. Saunder Co., and London, 1915.
  • Orthopedic and reconstruction surgery.
    Philadelphia and London, 1919.
  • Injuries and diseases of the hip; surgery & conservative treatment.
    Written with Robert Louis Preston. New York, Hoeber, 1937. 298 pages.
  • Bone graft surgery in disease, injury and deformity.
    Written with Alexander Kushner. New York, Appleton-Century Co. [1940]. 403 pages.
  • Surgery of the spinal column.
    Written with Earl Jennings Powers and Harold Clyde McDowell. Philadelphia, Davis, 1945. 460 pages.

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