Gerhard Küntscher

gerhard kuentscher
Gerhard Küntscher (born 1900 in Zwickau-1972) was a German surgeon who inaugurated the intramedullar nailing of bone fractures, a process that was first performed in 1939 at the University of Hamburg’s Department of Surgery. 

The German military initially disapproved of Kuntscher’s IM nailing technique. While in the Finnish Lapland from 1943 to 1944, he taught Finish surgeons to do intramedullary nailings, which earned him recognition and respect, in the orthopedic community. 

The war also prevented the knowledge of Kuntscher’s use of the IM nail to exit Germany. The German military had the upper hand on treating soldiers with the IM nail and having them return to fighting status in just a few weeks. 

World wide knowledge was not established until the Prisoners of War (POW’s) returned to their home countries carrying Kuntscher’s legacy in the form of steel nails in their legs.

He invented what is known as the Küntscher nail, an internal fixation device used to maintain the position of the fracture fragments during healing. The nail is rigid and has a cloverleaf shape in cross-section.

Of Küntscher's invention, A. W. Fischer said in 1944: "This practical treatment of fractures using a nail, the Küntscher procedure, is, in my eyes, a great revolution that will conquer the world.