- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Alan Graham Apley

Born  1914
Died  1996-12-20

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English orthopaedic surgeon, born 1914, London; died December 20, 1996.

Biography of Alan Graham Apley

Alan Graham Apley was born in London, the youngest son of a Jewish immigrant from Poland who had served in the Tsarist army and returned to collect his wife. He worked in the Roehampton Priory Hospital and then served with the Royal Army Medical Corps in Burma, being invalided. After returning in 1947 he became a consultant at the Rowley Bristow Orthopaedic Hospital, where he founded an orthopaedic course that was to become famous, not least because of Apley's showmanship. Apley's teaching became so popular that the course was regarded as almost mandatory for the final Fellowship examination. He designed the first purpose built accident centre in the south of England, at St Peter's Hospital, Chertsey.

In 1972 Apley was elected to the council of the Royal College of Surgeons, and the same year he was appointed the Director of Orthopaedics at St. Thomas' hospital.

After retirement from the National Health Service he became editor of the British edition of The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. An enthusiastic sportsman, he was a founder of the orthopaedic ski club, which pioneered the idea of combining work with pleasure. Nevertheless, his main recreation was music. He was an accomplished self taught pianist usually found by callers seated at his Steinway grand if not at his desk.

We thank Grace E. Jacobs for information submitted.


  • A System of Orthopaedics & Fractures. 1959.
    This textbook arose out of the lectures Apley gave on the internationally renowned course he established for FRCS candidates shortly after his appointment to the Rowley Bristow Orthopaedic Hospital in the late 1940's. He was proudly amused to discover that there was a pirate edition in the Far East and that it attracted the highest rate of fines for overdue books at the St Thomas's medical school library.
  • Giovanni De Bastiani, Alan Graham Apley and Anthony Goldberg, editors:
    Orthofix External Fixation In Trauma and Orthopaedics. London : Springer, 200.
  • Alan Graham Apley: 1914-1996.
    The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, March 1, 1997, 79 (2): 337-338.

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