Amédée Bonnet

Amédée Bonnet (1809-1858) was a French orthopaedic surgeon.

Bonnet published the first cadaveric studies for the mechanism of knee ligament injuries in a 1300 page treatise on the treatment of joint diseases – ‘Traité des maladies des articulations

Oft described as the grandfather of knee and ligament surgery.

Bonnet noticed that the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) ruptured most often at its femoral insertion (accompanied by a cracking sound), and rarely at the tibial attachment. He described the development of haemarthrosis as a result of knee ligament rupture and explained the accompanying pain as due to the stretching of the nerve supply of the ligaments.

In the cases of unstable knees he created an orthotic device with two hinges and invented various active motion machines to mobilise stiff knees after prolonged periods of immobilisation. However he recommended mobilisation as quickly as possible to reduce the risk of ‘absorption of the cartilage

  • Born on March 19, 1809 Ambérieu-en-Bugey, France son of physician Joseph Bonnet (1760-1839)
  • 1825 – Bachelier ès lettre
  • 1826 – Baccalauréat ès sciences
  • 1827 – Student of medicine under Richerand and Récamier at the Hotel Dieu de Lyon
  • 1832 – MD, Thesis: ‘Recherches sur quelques points de physiologie et de pathologie, tels que la surdité, les luxations, le mouvement des cotes, le siège des rhumatismes
  • 1832 – Surgeon-aide of the Hôtel-Dieu de Lyon
  • 1838 – Professor of surgery École Préparatoire de Lyon
  • Died on December 1, 1858 in Lyon

Segond fracture

1845Amédée Bonnet published the first cadaveric studies for the mechanism of knee ligament injuries. Bonnet concluded (Traité des maladies des articulations: 1845; II: 188) that following forced movements of extension and laterality:

  1. On well-formed individuals, these forced movements never cause fractures of the bones, but tearing of the ligaments, muscular ruptures
  2. No permanent dislocation occurs, if the two portions of the lower limb are mobile, and thus contribute to the production of forced movement
  3. On subjects of advanced age, on children and on adults of poor constitution, the fracture of the articular extremities is the almost inevitable consequence of these kinds of violence.
  4. These fractures, which can simulate dislocations, are difficult to heal due to the meshing of the surfaces and the crushing of the bones.

Major Publications



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 |

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