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Bone plate, Europe, 1914-1918

Bone plates are used to support fractures and encourage them to heal in proper alignment. This rather rusty example of twelve screws fixed into a plate is believed to have been put in position by Sir William Arbuthnot Lane (1856–1943), a leading surgeon and health campaigner. Lane pioneered the technique of internal fixing of fractures as opposed to using external splints. Lane inserted his first internal splint in 1894, and after 1905 he introduced his steel bone plates and screws. His methods were soon taken up in the United States and Germany but not in Britain until 1912.

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Glossary: bone plate

plates used to bridge fracture sites

Glossary: orthopaedics

The branch of medicine concerned with the preservation and restoration of the muscular and skeletal systems in the body.