Albert Henry Freiberg

Albert Henry Freiberg (1868 - 1940)

Albert Henry Freiberg (1868 – 1940) was an American Orthopedic Surgeon.

He obtained his M.D. from the University of Cincinnati, Ohio in 1890, and before establishing his practice there, studied in various European cities during his graduate years.

He held the title of professor of orthopaedic surgery for 37 years. During WWI he attained the rank of Major in the U.S. Army Medical corps. He held positions in the American College of Surgeons, Orthopaedic Association, and Medical Association.

Freiberg was an accomplished violinist as well as an amateur botanist and photographer. He served as Chairman of the Professional Advisory Committee on Crippled Children in Ohio and worked actively to improve the conditions for disabled children

Eponymously associated with Freiberg infraction (1914)

  • Born on August 17, 1868 in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • 1890 – MD, Medical College of Ohio (now the University of Cincinnati Medical School)
  • Studied in Wurzburg, Strassburg, Berlin, Paris, Vienna and London during his graduate years
  • 1902-1939 Professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio
  • 1910 – President of the American Orthopedic Association
  • 1914-1918 WWI Rank of Major n the U.S. Army Medical corps. Member of the advisory council on orthopedic surgery at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington DC
  • Director of orthopedic surgery services at the Cincinnati General, Jewish and Children’s hospitals in Cincinnati
  • Died on July 14, 1940 in Cincinnati, Ohio

Medical Eponyms
Freiberg infraction (1914)

Osteochondrosis of the metatarsal heads (typically the 2nd metatarsal head) characterized pathologically by subchondral bone collapse, osteonecrosis, and cartilaginous fissures.

Freiberg infraction is more common in women and most commonly manifests during adolescence (aged 10-18 years). Bilateral presentation in 10% of cases. Cause unknown and probably multi-factorial. High-heeled shoes have been implicated as a causative factor.

In 1913, Freiberg presented a paper to the Southern Surgical and Gynecological Association. He reported the cases of six young women presenting with a painful limp and discomfort localized to the second metatarsal, the first patient presenting in 1903. [1914; 26: 171-174]

Freiberg employed used the term ‘infraction’ as the diagnosis (archaic term for fracture without displacement implying trauma as the cause)

I felt justified in the diagnosis of infraction of the distal end of the second metatarsal, a condition which I have thus far failed to find described in the literature.

Freiberg 1914
Friberg infraction 1914
Case I, Fig 1; Girl aged sixteen years; Tennis injury of six months before; Infraction of second metatarsal with small loose body. Case 1903; lecture 1913; published 1914

Major Publications



Eponymous terms


BA MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM. Emergency physician, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.  Passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

Resident medical officer in emergency medicine MB ChB (Uni. Dundee)  MRCS Ed. Avid traveller, yoga teacher, polylinguist with a passion for discovering cultures.


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