Robert Jones

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

Cite this article as: Mike Cadogan, "Robert Jones," In: LITFL - Life in the FastLane, Accessed on December 4, 2022,


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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