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Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2020 August;64(4):389-92

DOI: 10.23736/S0390-5616.19.04688-5

Copyright © 2019 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

When neurosurgery and orthopedics were close in the past: Harvey Cushing and Vittorio Putti

Patrizia TOMBA 1, Antonio MAZZOTTI 2, 3, Alberto DI MARTINO 2, 3 , Anna VIGANÒ 1, Cesare FALDINI 2, 3

1 Scientific Library, Rizzoli Orthopedic Institute and IRCCS, Bologna, Italy; 2 First Clinic of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Rizzoli Orthopedic Institute and IRCCS, Bologna, Italy; 3 Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy



Harvey Cushing and Vittorio Putti are well-recognized medical authorities. The Italian orthopedic surgeon Vittorio Putti was an advocate of modern orthopedics and a scholar in orthopedic history. Putti was a frequent traveler and an esteemed lecturer, and a close friend of the American neurosurgeon, pathologist, and writer Dr. Harvey Cushing. Correspondence between the two can be found at the Yale Medical Historical Library, in New Haven, CT, and at the Rizzoli Institute in Bologna. A research was performed, which yielded an extensive documentation on the correspondence between the two surgeons. The research allowed to analyze and confirm the strong relationship between the two surgeons and highlighted their passion for collecting antique medical books. This paper is a tribute to two great surgeons in the history of medicine and aims at describing their personality and witnessing their great friendship through an unprecedented documentation. Both surgeons still live on through those who can continue to admire and study the fruit of their passion, as both men donated their precious collection of antique texts to public institutions, Putti to the Rizzoli Orthopedic Institute in Bologna, and Cushing to Yale University.


KEY WORDS: History of medicine; Orthopedics; Neurosurgery; Medical libraries

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