Marius Nygaard Smith-Petersen

Marius Nygaard Smith-Petersen (1886 – 1953) was a Norwegian born, American Orthopaedic surgeon.

Smith-Petersen pioneered the Mould-Arthroplasty procedure. He placed a glass mold over the femoral head to stimulate fibrocartilage metaplasia and form a smooth articular surface (1923). He conceived the idea after discovering a smooth synovial membrane surrounding a glass shard pulled out of a patient’s back. The glass was fragile and shattered after a few months, but the initial results were positive so Smith-Petersen changed the hemisphere mold from glass to pyrex and finally the metal alloy vitallium (1937).


  • Born 14 November 1886 Grimstad, Norway
  • Died 16 June 1953 Boston, Massachusetts

Medical Eponyms

  • Smith-Peterson approach to the hip (anterior approach)
  • Smith-Petersen Vitallium mould arthroplasty [1923 (glass) to 1937 (vitallium)]
Smith-Petersen Hip caps history
Smith-Petersen mould arthroplasty evolution 1925-1938
Smith-Petersen Hip bilateral at 5 years vitallium
Smith-Petersen Vitallium Hip Moulds (5 years)

Associated persons

Major Publications


  • Dr. M. N. Smith-Petersen, 1886–1953. J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1953 Aug;35-B(3):482-4. [PMID 13084701]
  • MARIUS Nygaard Smith-Petersen, 1886-1953. N Engl J Med. 1953 Jul 30;249(5):210-1. [PMID 13063716]
  • Mostofi SB. Who’s Who in Orthopedics. Springer; 2005: 310-312
  • Baker JF, Vioreanu MH, Khan HA. Smith-Petersen Vitallium mould arthroplasty: a 62-year follow-up. J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2011 Sep;93(9):1285-6. [PMID 21911544]
  • Brand RA. Femoroacetabular impingement: current status of diagnosis and treatment: Marius Nygaard Smith-Petersen, 1886-1953. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2009 Mar;467(3):605-7. [PMC2635449]
  • Hernigou P, Quiennec S, Guissou I. Hip hemiarthroplasty: from Venable and Bohlman to Moore and Thompson. Int Orthop. 2014 Mar; 38(3): 655–661. [PMC3936081]
  • Parcells B. History of THA. Hip & Knee Book. 2017

eponymictionary CTA


the person behind the name

Associate Professor Curtin Medical School, Curtin University. Emergency physician MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM 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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