Peter Essex-Lopresti

Peter Gordon Lawrence Essex-Lopresti (1916 – 1951) was a British orthopaedic surgeon.

Gifted pianist, highly promising career cut short aged 35 following an acute myocardial infarction.

Notable work includes his classification and treatment of fractures of the calcaneus and his recommendations for paratroopers to avoid injury. Eponymously affiliated with the Essex-Lopresti fracture (1951) published a month before his sudden death.


  • Born 7 April 1916
  • 1937 – Qualified medicine, the London Hospital (now Royal London)
  • 1938 – Qualified DA, anaesthetic training
  • 1940 – Commenced training in orthopedic surgery
  • 1942 – Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
  • 1943 – Surgical specialist in the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) airborne division
  • 1947 – Consultant Orthopaedic surgeon, Birmingham Accident Hospital
  • 1951 – Hunterian Professorship. Hunterian Lecture (March 6, 1951) ‘The Mechanism, Reduction Technique, and Results in Fractures of Os Calcis.’
  • Died 13 June 1951 at home (aged 35), myocardial infarction

Medical Eponyms

Essex-Lopresti fracture (1951)

An Essex-Lopresti injury consists of a radial head fracture with dislocation of the distal radioulnar joint (DRUJ) and disruption of the interosseous membrane (IOM)

Key Medical Attributions

1946 – ‘The Hazards of Parachuting‘ chronicled the parachute-related injuries with 20,777 parachute jumps made by men in the Sixth British Airborne Division. Essex-Lopresti defined three phases of the jump: Exit plane; Open chute and Landing. He provided recommendations paratroopers could employ to avoid injury included: extending the neck to avoid hitting the forehead trauma on exiting the plane and keeping legs together when landing to prevent ankle injuries

Major Publications


  • Mostofi SB. Who’s Who in Orthopedics. Springer; 2005 edition pp99-100
  • McGlinn EP, Sebastin SJ, Chung KS. A Historical Perspective on the Essex-Lopresti Injury. J Hand Surg Am. 2013 Aug; 38(8): 1599–1606. [PMC4157731]
  • In Memoriam: Peter Gordon Lawrence Essex-Lopresti F.R.C.S.E., D.A. Lancet. 1951;257(6669):1372. [PMID 14842087]
  • In Memoriam: Peter Gordon Essex-Lopresti (1916-1951). J Bone Joint Surg. 33B(3):453

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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