Paul of Aegina (ca 625-690 AD), His Work and His Contribution to the Treatment of Spine Disorders: The First Routine Laminectomy in the Recorded History

Document Type: Original Article


1 Henry Dunant Hospital Center, Department of Orthopaedics

2 Second Orthopaedics Department, University of Athens, Athens, Greece.

3 History of Medicine Department, University of Athens, Greece

4 Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens, Greece.


The purpose of this historical review is to summarize the work of Paul of Aegina and especially his contribution to the treatment of Spine disorders and trauma. A major review of the literature was undertaken with emphasis on the treatise of Paul himself as well as those of later scholars and historians.Paul expanded the horizons of surgery of his time, using his talent to perform very complicated surgery with favorite outcomes in a variety of diseases in many fields of medicine. This review will focus especially on his use of laminectomy for spinal decompression and how his successful results led him to establish his method as a routine and safe method for the treatment of spinal stenosis.However, our knowledge of his full work is at least incomplete and, from all we know, he does not seem to mention the long term effect that such an operation has on spine stability and movement.