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Smith-Peterson bone instruments, England, 1960-1980

Named after N M Smith-Peterson (1886-1953), a Norwegian orthopaedic surgeon, these instruments are known as bone reamers. Made by Down Bros, the instruments were used to drill large holes in the femur and the hip joint during operations to replace worn out joints. The set was used at The Lord Mayor Treloar Orthopaedic Hospital in Alton, Hampshire, England. The hospital was set up in 1908 to care for children with orthopaedic conditions caused by disease. It provided a range of treatments from surgery to bed rest and physiotherapy. It later became a general orthopaedic hospital treating patients of all ages – these instruments are believed to date from that period.

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Glossary: surgical instrument set

Set of instruments to be used for surgery. A physician would often build up their own collection of favoured tools in order to feel as comfortable as possible when carrying out surgery.

Glossary: bone reamer

A rotating finishing or drilling tool used to shape or enlarge a hole.