William Warwick Wagstaffe (Sr) (1843-1910) was an English General surgeon and anatomist.
Belonged to the progressive school of surgery, an early advocate of the direct reduction of intussusceptions. Most notable was the application of his anatomical knowledge to the study of morbid anatomy, as a means of elucidating the problems of pathology.
Eponymously affiliated with the Wagstaffe Fracture (Wagstaffe-Le Fort fracture) and the Wagstaffe tubercle. Struck down by an obscure nervous malady in 1878, which slowly but steadily removed all his ability for physical activity and he never returned to surgical practice
- Born 1843
- 1855-1859 Epsom College; one of the first one hundred boys to enter Epsom College when it opened in October 1855. Captain of both the cricket and rugby football teams in 1859
- 1861 – BA, Kings College, London
- 1862 – St. Thomas’s Hospital Medical School
- 1864 – MRCS Member of the Royal College of Surgeons; Cheselden Silver Medal and the Treasurer’s Gold Medal
- 1867 – 1st MB, University of London but never completed his Bachelor of Medicine examinations.
- 1868 – FRCS Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons
- 1871 – Resident Assistant Surgeon at St Thomas’s Hospital; Medical Officer to the Privy Council.
- 1874 – Consultant Surgeon at St Thomas’s, and Sevenoaks Hospitals
- 1875 – Board of examiners in Anatomy and Physiology of the Royal College of Surgeons; Surgical Secretary to the Pathological Society of London.
- 1878 – Developed general spinal paralysis with severe attacks of lightning pains. He became bedridden, but with intellect unimpaired.
- Unable to return to practical work he busied himself for some years in writing reviews for the British Medical Journal, translated Heiberg’s Atlas of the cutaneous nerve supply of the human body (1885), and edited Mayne’s Medical Vocabulary 6e (1889) and 7e
- Died on January 22, 1910
Wagstaffe-Le Fort Fracture (1875, 1886)
Avulsion fracture of the medial aspect of the distal fibula due to avulsion of the anterior tibiofibular ligament attachment (ATFL). See also: Tillaux-Chaput avulsion fracture – posterolateral tibia avulsion
In 1875 Wagstaffe reviewed 62 ankle fractures sustained between 1866-1868 following direct and indirect violence. He recorded 2 cases in which he could find ‘no parallel instance to the two which are subjoined‘. Wagstaffe original description:
I find in none of the standard works to which I have able to refer any mention of cases in which the fracture was of the character found in the two cases here recorded. The peculiar feature of these cases was the existence of a vertical fracture of the fibula in its lower end, with a displacement of the fractured portion in such a way that it was twisted round on its long axis.’Wagstaffe 1875
Insertion site of anterior inferior tibiofibular ligament (AITFL) on the anteromedial portion of the fibula
- Le Gros Clark F, Wagstaffe W. Outlines of surgery and surgical pathology: including the diagnosis and treatment of obscure and urgent cases and the surgical anatomy of some important structures and regions. 1872 (2e)
- Wagstaffe W. The Student’s guide to human osteology. J & A Churchill. 1875
- Wagstaffe WW. Remarks on the force used in transfusion and on the selection of fluids for injecting into the veins. 1875
- Wagstaffe WW. On the mechanical structure of the cancellous tissue of bone. St. Thomas’s Hospital reports. 1875; 5
- Wagstaffe WW. An unusual form of fracture of the fibula. St. Thomas’s Hospital reports. 1875; 6: 43-49
- Wagstaffe WW, Reid RW. Anatomical variations. Vol II; Vol III. 1877
- Wagstaffe WW. On lengthening of the limb as a result of knee-joint disease. St Thomas’s Hospital Reports. 1880; 10
- Heiberg J. Atlas of the cutaneous nerve supply of the human body. 1885 [Translation by Wagstaffe WW.]
- Wagstaffe WW. On cross furrows in the nails. St Thomas’s Hospital Reports. 1890; 13.
- Wagstaffe WW. In memoriam : F. Le Gros Clark, F.R.C.S., F.R.S. St Thomas’s Hospital Reports. 1893; 21.
- Wagstaffe WW. In memoriam, George Rainey : his life, work, and character. St Thomas’s Hospital Reports. 1894; 22.
William Warwick Wagstaffe (Sr), not to be confused with his son: William Warwick Wagstaffe (Jr) (1886-1928)
- Obituary: William Warwick Wagstaffe (1843-1910). Lancet. 1910: 175(4510): 405
- Obituary: Wagstaffe, William Warwick (1843-1910). Br Med J 1910; 1: 356
- Biography: William Warwick Wagstaffe (1843-1910). Epsom College
- Biography: Wagstaffe, William Warwick senior (1843-1910). Plarr’s Lives of the Fellows Online. Royal College of Surgeons of England.
- Bibliography. Wagstaffe, W. W. (William Warwick) 1843-1910. WorldCat Identities
- Fisher A et al. The anatomy of the anterior inferior tibiofibular ligament and its relationship with the Wagstaffe fracture. Foot Ankle Surg. 2021 Apr;27(3):291-295.
- Kikuchi S et al. Characteristic features of the insertions of the distal tibiofibular ligaments on three-dimensional computed tomography- cadaveric study. J Exp Orthop. 2020 Jan 23;7(1):3
- Eponymythology: Eponymous Foot, ankle and talus injuries. LITFL
BA MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM. Associate Professor Curtin Medical School, Curtin University. 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 |