Paul Jules Tillaux

Paul Jules Tillaux (1834 – 1904) French Surgeon.

Tillaux performed cadaveric experiments and demonstrated stress applied to the anterior inferior tibiofibular ligament resulted in an avulsion fracture.

Eponymously affiliated with multiple eponyms most notably the Tillaux fracture (1872) and Aïe crépitant de Tillaux in 1895

  • Born on December, 8 1834 in Aulnay-sur-Odon, Calvados
  • 1857 – Interne des Hôpitaux
  • 1862 – Doctor of medicine, Paris. Theses: ‘Des conduits excréteurs des glandes sublinguale et lacrymale
  • 1863 – Surgeon to the Bureau Central
  • 1866 – Professeur-Agrégé of Surgery
  • 1868 – Director of the Amphitheatre d’Anatomie des Hopitaux de Paris
  • 1878 – Surgeon to the Beaujon Hospital
  • 1890 – Professor of Clinical Surgery at the Charite
  • 1900 – Hon FRCS at the Royal College of Surgeons, England
  • 1904 – President of the Académie de Médecine
  • Died on October 20, 1904
Medical Eponyms
Tillaux fracture (1872) (Tillaux-Chaput fracture)

Fracture of the anterolateral tibial epiphysis commonly seen in adolescents. (Salter-Harris III tibial fracture)

Usually associated with forced lateral rotation of the foot or medial rotation of the leg on a fixed foot. This rotational injury results in avulsion of the anterior tibiofibular ligament at the lateral epiphysis. Often misdiagnosed as a simple sprain in adolescents.

Best seen on conventional AP, lateral, and mortise ankle XR. However, CT scan has better sensitivity in diagnosing Tillaux fractures and used to detect fracture displacement of >2mm – often an indication for open reduction

Other eponyms

Tillaux apparatus (Appareil de Tillaux) – used to reduce and maintain femoral diaphysis fractures in constant steady extension

Tillaux manoeuvre (Manœuvre de Tillaux) – clinical examination of the breast: to demonstrate the adhesion of a breast tumor to pectoralis major. The mobility of the tumor within the deep planes is reduced when pectoralis major is contracted, by opposing adduction of patients arm.

Tillaux painful crepitus sign (Aïe crépitant de Tillaux) – described tenosynovitis of the adductor and the short extensor of the thumb in 1893 (ahead of de Quervain (1895)


A similar injury to the posterolateral tibia cadeveric description by Tillaux (1876) was later described by Henri Chaput in 1907 hence the term the Tillaux-Chaput fracture.

Major Publications


  • Obituary: Paul Tillaux, M.D. Br Med J 1904; 2: 1196
  • Rémy F . Un chirurgien du 19e siécle: Paul Tillaux. Thése d’exercice: Médecine. Université de Caen. 1985.
  • Biography: Tillaux, Paul Jules (1834 – 1904). Plarr’s Lives of the Fellows Online. Royal College of Surgeons of England.

Eponymous terms

eponymictionary CTA


the person behind the name

Dr Josh Howard - wannabe future orthopod, finding myself in Australia | LinkedIn

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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