William Warwick Wagstaffe

William Warwick Wagstaffe (Sr) (1843-1910)

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
  • 1861 – BA Kings College, London
  • 1864 – MRCS Member of the Royal College of Surgeons
  • 1867 – 1st MB, University of London but never to completed his Bachelor of Medicine examinations.
  • 1868 – FRCS Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons
  • 1871 – Resident Assistant Surgeon the Assistant Surgeon (1874), St Thomas’s Hospital
  • 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 22 January 1910

Medical Eponyms

  • Wagstaffe-Le Fort Fracture – avulsion fracture of anterior margin of distal fibula at insertion of anterior tibio-fibular ligament
  • Wagstaffe tubercle – insertion site of anterior tibiofibular ligament on the anterior fibula


William Warwick Wagstaffe (Sr), not to be confused with his son: William Warwick Wagstaffe (Jr) (1886-1928)

Major Publications


eponymictionary CTA 2


the person behind the name

Posted by Dr Mike Cadogan

Emergency physician with a passion for medical informatics and medical education/textbooks. Asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist | @sandnsurf | + Mike Cadogan | LinkedIn

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