State University of New York at Buffalo - Department of Orthopaedics

The crooked tree, the symbol of orthopaedics
The history of Orthopaedics as a discipline began in the 18th century, marked by the publication of a monograph by French physician Nicolas Andry (Paris, 1741) entitled:
"L'Orthopedie, ou l'art de prevenir et de corriger dans les enfans, les difformites du corp"
Translated as - "Orthopedia: or the Art of Correcting and Preventing Deformities in Children by Such Means as May be Put into Practice by Parents Themselves and All Such as Are Employed in Educating Children."
This monograph is the origin of the term "orthopaedics". Andry derived the word"l' orthopedie" from the Greek phrase meaning "straight child". One of the book's illustrations (the crooked tree) went on to become the symbol of this new specialty. An important basic orthopaedic principle is depicted by the drawing of the tree:
"bone is not an inert material, but a dynamic structure that responds to stimuli"

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