Francis J Shepherd

Francis John Shepherd (1851 – 1929) was a British/Canadian general surgeon and anatomist.

British by birth and training he emigrated to Canada in 1875 to become Professor of anatomy at McGill University. Pioneered the teaching of dermatology in Canada serving as President of the Canadian branch of the British Dermatological Society (1928)

Eponymously associated with Shepherd fracture – posterior talar process fracture with injury to the lateral tubercle caused by inversion or extreme equinus in 1882

  • Born on November 25, 1851
  • 1869-1873 Faculty of Medicine, McGill University.
  • 1874-1875 St Thomas’s Hospital passed the MRCS; Vienna studying dermatology under von Hebra (1816–1880).
  • 1875-1883 Demonstrator of anatomy at McGill University with his friend and contemporary, Sir William Osler.
  • 1883-1913 Lecturer then Professor in Anatomy, McGill University
  • 1901 – President of the Canadian Medical Association
  • 1902 – Chief surgeon at Montreal General Hospital; Professor of Surgery McGill University
  • 1905 – Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh
  • 1906-1910 President of the Montreal Art Association
  • 1908-1914 Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, McGill University
  • Emeritus Dean of Medicine at McGill University
  • Died on January 18, 1929

Medical Eponyms

Shepherd fracture (1882)

Posterior talar process fracture with injury to the lateral tubercle caused by inversion or extreme equinus

Described by Francis John Shepherd (1851-1929), in 1882, initially as a single dissection and later as a series of three such fractures.

Last year I exhibited to this Society (Medico-Chirurgical Society of Montreal) a specimen of fracture of the astragalus (talus) found in a subject in the dissecting-room. Since then I have examined the condition of the astragalus in every subject dissected, and have been fortunate enough to obtain two more examples of the same fracture. 

The fractured portion is the little process of bone external to the groove for the tendon of the flexor longs hallucis muscle: This process is on the posterior border of the astragalus, and overhangs the os calcis. To it is attached the posterior fasciculus of the external lateral ligamnet of the ankle-joint; called sometimes the posterior peroneo-tarsal ligament. Judging from the appearance of the fracture, it would seem that the process of bone is torn off by the ligament being put on the stretch in some twist of the foot. 

May not this fracture account for some cases of sprained ankles which are so slow to recover, and which occasionally leave permanent lameness, or at any rate weakness? In such cases as I have described, it is probable that any motion of the foot (as flexion and twisting out) which puts the posterior peroneo-tarsal ligament on the stretch would be painful. 

Shepherd 1882
Shepherd fracture posterior talus lateral tubercle fracture
Shepherd fracture

**Cedell fracture – posterior talar process fracture with injury to the medial tubercle caused by forced dorsiflexion and pronation

Major Publications



Eponymous terms

Cite this article as: Mike Cadogan, "Francis J Shepherd," In: LITFL - Life in the FastLane, Accessed on June 28, 2022,


the person behind the name

Emergency physician MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM with a 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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