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

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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