Amputation knife (1), straight


In ancient Greece, it was amputated only in gangrene. Later, at CELSUS, we find the amputation "healthy".

Robert LISTON (1794-1847), a surgeon from Ecclesmachan, Scotland, worked at the Royal Infirmary, where he also performed sections. In 1818 he became a lecturer in anatomy and surgery at the Edinburgh School of Medicine, 1827 surgeon at the Royal Infirmary and in 1835 (until his death in 1847) Professor of Clinical Surgery at University College in London.


LISTON was famous for his speed of operation. He removed the accidentally smashed-up and eventually - not surprisingly in the clinics at that time - wounded leg of a butler called Frederick Churchill in a record-breaking time of 25 seconds - the unflattering star surgeon usually had an assistant at his side, who measured the time. 25 seconds at that time represented a normal operation time; it was reported about Dominique-Jean LARREY (1766-1842), the personal physician of Napoleon, that he could make over 200 amputations in one day. Today, a lower leg amputation from the skin incision to the end of the suture usually takes between 25-60 minutes (depending on the surgeon's practice). "Fastest Knife in the West End" - 2 ½ minutes from the first cut to the last suture for the amputation of a leg. A speed that took its toll:

He took it for an abscess and cut in - it was an aneurysm and the patient bleed to death.
He was supposed to amputate only the leg and castrated so casually the man.


He managed to kill three people in a single operation:
the patient who died of sepsis two weeks after the procedure,
- his assistant, to whom he cut several fingers - as a result of the injury, the assistant died of sepsis,
- a helper, whom he accidentally cut with the amputation knife in the body - this died in terror, it is said.

Fast, yes. But also with the introduction of anesthesia his name is connected: on December 21, 1846 he applied in London in the operating room for the first time the ether anesthesia. The real progress was not in the development of the xth knife, but in the improvement of the operating conditions, the introduction of sterility! This development, however, took place only a generation after LISTON ...

Around 1861-65, 50% of the amputations performed by the surgeon Joseph Lister (1827-1912) ended in death. When PASTEUR proved in 1865 that bacteria were the cause of these catastrophic results, LISTER immediately became one of the most enthusiastic advocates of antisepsis ... In 1867, he was proud to report that in the past 9 months nobody in his clinic had died of sepsis.

Two LISTON amputation knives are presented with a cutting blade that continues on the back of the knife.
Stamp: "Hilliard", a manufacturer from Edinburgh, Nicolsonstreet 7 - the home of LISTON. Harvey Hilliard (who had previously worked in Glasgow) remained at this address from 1850 to 1885, before the operation was relocated by his sons and the engraving changed. Ebony handle with grid pattern (called "some guilloché" in French).
Origin of Knives: Northallerton, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom.