Primeval and ancient times
Surgical interventions are already known from the earliest and early days: Not only were wounds treated, but skulls were opened by means of scraping or drilling, fractures were treated or obstetrical techniques were practiced. The oldest document describing trauma procedures (Papyrus Edwin Smith) comes from Egypt and was estimated to have been written between 3000 and 2600 BC. As in modern medicine, it describes injuries from head to toe and deals with the corresponding treatment techniques.
Numerous other written evidence exists in antiquity that surgical healing has existed since time immemorial - whether the Codex Hammurabi of ancient Babylon, the ancient Indian Vedas, the treatment of wounds before Troy in the Iliad of Homer or the Corpus Hippocraticum, a collection of medical texts of various Author of 500-200 v. An ancient motto is still valid today: the doctor should intervene as safely, quickly and painlessly.
The ancient knowledge migrated from ancient Greece to Byzantium and Arabia, where it was supplemented and expanded - the heyday of Arab surgery was around 1000 AD - and then returned to the West again. The midwifery surgeons not only cleaned, sutured, and bandaged wounds, but also inserted joints, straightened bones, removed fragments, and provided amputation stubs and disinfected shot channels with boiling oil.
Even the pain could be alleviated: moist "sleeping sponges" with extracts of poppy juice, henbane, datura or mandrake were placed over mouth and nose. Practical surgery and science entered a new bond in the mid-16th century - surgeons increasingly came to the public as academics and brilliant thinkers.
Newer and modern surgery
The newer surgery with all its surgical options and specializations was heralded by two groundbreaking innovations in the mid-19th century:
- The invention of ether anesthesia, which made painless surgery possible for the first time, and
- the discovery of asepsis, which was able to massively reduce wound infection.
By exploring the connections between germs and infection and discovering the antibiotics, they were able to control them even better. In addition, numerous other innovations, developments and discoveries of modern trauma surgery helped to their status quo: surgical techniques and materials, transplantation medicine and prostheses, drugs and materials for wound care, diagnostic equipment and those for monitoring are just a few examples.
In addition, the interdisciplinary cooperation has proven itself, the emergency services with first aid, transport and blood exchange, etc. optimized, the microsurgery and the computer established as a tool and enforced the knowledge of the importance of rehabilitation measures.