Medical Dictionary

Smith–Petersen nail

noun Smith–Pe·ter·sen nail \ˈsmith-ˈpēt-ər-sən-\

Medical Definition of SMITH-PETERSEN NAIL

:  a flanged metal nail used to fix the femoral head in fractures of the neck of the femur

Biographical Note for SMITH-PETERSEN NAIL

Smith–Petersen, Marius Nygaard (1886–1953), American orthopedic surgeon. Smith-Petersen practiced orthopedic surgery in Boston. He had long-term associations with Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. In 1925 he introduced a three-flanged steel nail for insertion across the fracture site in hip fractures. This innovation reduced considerably the death rate from hip fracture and brought about successful unions of fragments in a greater percentage of the cases. To further improve hip disabilities he developed an operative procedure which involved placing a Vitallium alloy cup or mold between surgically reshaped joint surfaces. The operation was widely adopted from 1938 on.


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