Dr. Vittorio Putti was an Italian orthopaedic surgeon, a promoter of modern orthopaedics, an artist, and a scholar of orthopaedic history. Born, raised and educated in Bologna, Italy he devoted his life to Bologna’s world-renowned Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute. He succeeded his professor Alessandro Codivilla as Director of the Institute and was professor of orthopaedic surgery at the University of Bologna.
Among his many interests were the collecting of appliances and prostheses, research in medieval orthopaedics, and international exchange between medical students. He published “Historic artificial limbs,” in the American Journal of Surgery in 1929, which was later published in book form.
He was a frequent world traveler and lecturer, and a close friend of Dr. Harvey Cushing. Correspondence between the two surgeons can be found at Yale medical historical library and the Rizzoli Institute. Also friendly with ACS founder, Franklin H. Martin, MD, FACS, Dr. Putti became an Honorary Fellow of the College in 1925 and delivered the J.B. Murphy Memorial Oration at the the 1928 ACS Clinical Congress. Dr. Martin describes at length, in his Memoirs, a visit with Dr. Putti and a tour of his hospital in Bologna during the Martins’ 1925 visit to Europe. The editors of Surgery, Gynecology & Obstetrics asked Dr. Putti to be an international editor of the journal in 1936, in which capacity he served until his death.
ACS Archives Highlights is a series showcasing the vibrant history of the American College of Surgeons, its members, and the history of surgery. For further information on our featured highlights, search the Archives Catalog or contact the ACS Archivist.