Joseph François Malgaigne

Joseph François Malgaigne (1806 – 1865)

Joseph François Malgaigne (1806 – 1865) was a French Surgeon.

Surgeon, medical historian and critical thinker. Eponymously affiliated with the Malgaigne Fracture (1847)

Malgaigne’s published a 1300 page, two volume treatise on fractures and dislocations (18471848 English translation 1859). This work was arguably the most comprehensive overview of orthopaedics of the 19th century (although Astley Paston Cooper may disagree…)


  • Born 14 February 1806 in Charmes-sur-Moselle
  • 1831 – doctorate of medicine with thesis ‘Paradoxes de médecine théorique et pratique‘ in which he defended the teaching of the history of medicine and surgery
  • 1847 – editor of the ‘Medico-Chirurgical Revue de Paris’
  • 1840 – Founded the ‘Journal de Chirurgie
  • Died 1865

Medical Eponyms

Key Medical Attributions

Statistical evaluations included mortality rates form surgical procedures especially amputations (1841) and treatise on statistics of fractures and luxations (1839).

In 1840 he published a geographical analysis or ‘medicostatistical map‘ correlating inguinal hernia’s with mountainous country and the ‘culture of the olive’ in France

Interesting fact

Malgaigne had two daughters with his wife Aglaé Françoise Pommier (1818-1893). One of them married the professor of surgery Léon Clement Le Fort.

Major Publications


  • Bucholz RW. The pathological anatomy of Malgaigne fracture-dislocations of the pelvis. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1981 Mar;63(3):400-4. [PMID 7204439]
  • Mostofi SB. Who’s Who in Orthopedics. Springer. p217-219. 2005
  • Peltier LF. Joseph François Malgaigne and Malgaigne’s fracture. Surgery. 1958 Oct;44(4):777-84. [PMID 13592627]
  • Peltier LF. Guerin versus Malgaigne: a precedent for the free criticism of scientific papers. J Orthop Res. 1983;1(1):115-8.[PMID 6384447]
  • Peltier LR. Six eponymic fractures. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1960 Jul;48:345-351. [PMC200500]
  • Fernández Palomo LJ, Fernández Vázquez JM, Camacho Galindo J. Joseph François Malgaigne (1806-1865). Acta Ortop Mex 2005; 19: 284-5.
  • Jarcho S. An early medicostatistical map (Malgaigne, 1840). Bull N Y Acad Med. 1974 Jan;50(1):96-9. [PMC1749330]
  • Cooper AP. A treatise on dislocations, and on fractures of the joints. London : Longman.
  • Pilastre E. Malgaigne (1806-1865): étude sur la vie et ses idées dʹaprès ses éscrits, des papiers de famille et des souvenirs particuliers. Paris: Félix Alcan (1905)

eponymictionary CTA 2


the person behind the name

Emergency physician MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM with a passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and informatics. Asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | vocortex |

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