Artificial shoulder joint by Péan (1893): the facts of an exceptional intervention and the prosthetic method

T Lugli
Clinical Orthopaedics and related Research 1978, (133): 215-8
In 1893, the famous French surgeon E. J. Péan substituted the proximal end of a humerus with a total shoulder arthroplasty made of platinum and rubber. After 2 years, the prosthesis was removed and nothing more was heard about it. After more than 80 years from that historic operation, the author has found Péan's original prosthesis in the Smithsonian Institution of Washington, D.C. This exceptional medical document was designed by a Parisian dentist, J. Porter Michaels and was brought to the United States by Edward A. Bogue, an American dentist who worked in Paris. Bogue donated it in 1916 to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington. At the present time the prosthesis is being kept in the Smithsonian Institution. The intervention was not a complete success since Péan had to remove the artificial joint due to a persistent tubercular infection. Nevertheless this prosthesis represents a milestone in the history of medicine, an event justly deserving of our note.

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