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Karl Ludloff

Born  1864-06-07
Died  1945

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    German surgeon and orthopaedist, born June 7, 1864, Gundersleben, Thüringen; died 1945.

    Biography of Karl Ludloff

    Karl Ludloff studied in Jena, Würzburg, Munich, and Strassburg. He received his doctorate in Jena in 1894 and worked as assistant respectively Oberarzt at the physiological institute in Königsberg, at the surgical clinics in the same town and in Breslau. He was habilitated for surgery in Königsberg in 1900, becoming titular professor in 1906, 1913 ordinary honorary professor. In 1914 he became director of the university clinic for orthopaedic surgery in Frankfurt am Main, where he was appointed professor in 1919.

     On February 10, 1916, The New York Times (via London) reported from the convention of the German Orthopaedic Society, then in session in Berlin. At the time, the United States was still not at war with Germany). The headline was ”CUT NERVES UNITED IN LIFELESS LIMBS. False Hand Controlled by Upper Arm Muscles. Another German War Invention.”

    Obviously impressed by the achievements of the surgeons gathered in Berlin, The New York Times reported:

     ”Dr. Ferdinand Sauerbruch, Professor of Surgery at Zürich University, showed the delegates an artificial hand which was able to grasp objects of all forms and to lift weights up to twenty-two pounds. The hand an all the fingers are controlled by muscular action in the upper arm, which is prepared for such work by two operations. The muscular power afterward is transmitted to the hands through a system of wires and pulleys.

    Dr. Karl Ludloff, Professor of Surgery at Breslau University, described a method for uniting severed nerves and receiving the muscular action of nerveless limbs. He pointed out that the natural tendency of severed ends of nerves to reunite was hindered by the fact that the cicatrized new flesh between them was impervious to growing nerve fibres.

    Professor Ludloff said he restored the connection by a piece of an artery of an ox filled with gelatine, through which nerves readily grew, even bridging gaps of several inches. After several weeks cripples limbs regained their motor activity. The Professor said that many cases had been successfully treated where permanent lameness would have followed.

    Professor Hoerstmann of Koenigsberg University described a method for treating joints left stiff after wounds healed. Through the use of hot air, massage and mechanical appliances, professor Hoerstmann said he had been successful in 80 per cent of the cases treated by him.”


    • Atlas klinisch wichtiger Röntgen-Photogramme. With Anton von Eiselsberg (1860-1939). Berlin, 1900.
    • Zur Pathogenese und Therapie der angeborenen Hüftluxation. Jena, 1902.
    • Prothesen der unteren Extremitäten. In Handbuch der ärztlichen Erfahrungen im Weltkriege. Volume 2. Leipzig, 1922.
    • Chronische Entzündungen der Knochen u. s. w. In Fritz Lange's Lehrbuch der Orthopädie, 3rd edition, Jena 1928.

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