Robert Jones

Sir Robert Jones (1857-1933)

Sir Robert Jones (1857-1933) was a Welsh General and Orthopaedic Surgeon and part time Roentgenologist.

A worldwide driving force for the development of Orthopaedics as a distinct specialty during early 1900s. Published the first clinical radiograph less than 2 months after Roentgen’s original report

Established the Shropshire Orthopaedic Hospital, now known as Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital. Jones was reported to operate back-to-back for ten hours with a list of over 20 crippled children every Saturday.

Eponymously affiliated with the Jones fracture which he first described in 1902

  • Born on June 28, 1857 in Rhyl, Wales.
  • 1878 – Qualified in Medicine, Liverpool. Even prior to this he was assisting his uncle, Hugh Owen Thomas (inventor of Thomas splint), with his work at the historic 11 Nelson Street.
  • 1889 – Obtained FRCSEd. Appointed surgeon at Royal Southern Hospital, Liverpool
  • 1902 – Published his paper ‘Fracture of the base of the fifth metatarsal bone by indirect violence’, the fracture later went on to be eponymously known as Jones Fracture.
  • 1905 – Specialised in Orthopaedic Surgery
  • 1913 – Nominated President of Orthopaedics for the International Medical Congress
  • 1914-1918 Initially served as a medical officer in France then back in England he created a nationwide orthopaedic military service. For his tremendous work he was decorated with CB, Knight Bachelor, Knight Commander and finally Baronet in 1926.
  • 1919 – Director of Orthopaedics, St Thomas’ Hospital, London.
  • 1929 – First President of International Society of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology (SICOT)
  • Died on January 14, 1933.

Medical Eponyms
Jones Fracture (1902)

Fracture of the proximal diaphysis of the 5th metatarsal, distal to the tuberosity, without joint involvement. Caused by foot inversion / twisting and repetitive stress

Whilst dancing, I trod on the outer side of my foot, my heel at the moment being off the ground. Something gave way midway down my foot, and I at once suspected a rupture of the peroneus longus tendonI hobbled down-stairs to my colleague…to X-ray my foot. This was done, and the fifth metatarsal was found fractured about three-fourths of an inch from its base.

Jones R, Ann Surg. 1902: 697

Other eponyms
  • Jones Bandage – Compression dressing; padded pressure bandage for the knee used post-operatively
  • Jones Abduction Frame – Apparatus used on hospital beds to aid hip adduction

Major Publications



Eponymous terms


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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