Document Type : Original Article
M.D., Responsible physician, Gartenweg 24, Wanzleben Saxony-Anhalt, Germany
This study focuses on a correspondence between the surgeon, Fedor Krause (1857 – 1937), and the neurologist, Arthur Simons (1877 – 1942), who specialized in muscle neurology. The correspondence shows many interesting aspects of surgery at the time of World War I. It is especially remarkable that the important surgeon, August Bier (1861 – 1949), is criticized in this correspondence. One major problem of German surgery at the beginning of the 20th century was the fact that patients often were not mobilized sufficiently and instead, unnecessarily were told to stay in bed (“Bettruhe”) for many weeks, and in many cases, patients also were unnecessarily told to move as little as possible. Even giving massages was considered harmful. This is in contrast to today’s principle of early mobility (ERAS). The correspondence between these two scholars clearly indicates that these wrong principles were propagated by certain important surgeons in Germany (like August Bier) and that these principles were rather based on their personal opinions than on scientific evidence. More than 100 years ago, there were already some physicians, like Arthur Simons or Fedor Krause, who openly criticized these wrong approaches in German surgery.