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Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2019 May 06

DOI: 10.23736/S0390-5616.19.04688-5


language: English

When neurosurgery and orthopaedics were close in the past: Harvey Cushing and Vittorio Putti, two friends for one passion

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

1 Scientific Library, IRCCS Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, Bologna, Italy; 2 I Orthopaedic and Traumatologic Clinic, IRCCS Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, Bologna, Italy; 3 Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy


BACKGROUND: Harvey Cushing and Vittorio Putti are well recognised medical eminence. The Italian orthopaedic surgeon Vittorio Putti was a promoter of modern orthopaedics and a scholar of orthopaedic history. Putti was a frequent world traveler and lecturer, and a close friend of the American neurosurgeon, pathologist and writer Dr. Harvey Cushing. Correspondence between the two surgeons can be found at Yale medical historical library and the Rizzoli Institute.
METHODS: A research was performed: an extensive documentation on the correspondence between the two surgeons was found.
RESULTS: The research allowed to analyze and confirm the strong relationship between the two surgeons and highlighted their passion for collecting antique medical books.
CONCLUSIONS: The present paper represents a tribute to two great surgeons in the history of medicine with the aim of 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 - Orthopedics - Neurosurgery - Medical libraries

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