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Biographical entry Osgood, Robert Bayley (1873 - 1956)

Hon FRCS 8 April 1943; MD Harvard 1899.

6 July 1873
Salem, Massachusetts, USA
2 October 1956
Orthopaedic surgeon


Born at Salem, Massachusetts on 6 July 1873, son of John Osgood he graduated MD at the Harvard Medical School in 1899, and began to practise as an orthopaedic surgeon in Boston. Not long afterwards, in 1903, he published a paper on lesions of the tibial tubercle occurring during adolescence, this being the first description of the disorder which later came to be known as Osgood-Schlatter disease. During all his professional life he was on the staff of the Massachusetts General and Children's Hospitals, in charge of the orthopaedic service at each; and at the Harvard Medical School he was appointed John Ball and Buckminster Brown Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery in 1922. His work brought him international renown, and he was an honorary member of the British and Australian Orthopaedic Associations. In 1925 he gave the Hugh Owen Thomas Lecture at Liverpool, and in 1943 Sir Heneage Ogilvie conferred on him at the British Embassy in Washington the Hon FRCS. He was also an Honorary Member of the Section of Physical Medicine of the Royal Society of Medicine.

During the first world war Osgood served with the American forces overseas, and in 1918 was appointed a consultant to the office of the Surgeon-General in Washington. He was chairman of the advisory board of orthopaedic surgeons to the Trustees of the Shriners' Hospitals for Crippled Children, President of the American Orthopaedic Association in 1921, and President of the New England Surgical Society.

Osgood's command of orthopaedics was profound and he exerted a great and useful influence on American orthopaedic surgery. He was generous to causes and individuals. He was a direct descendant of a John Osgood who emigrated from Hampshire to Andover, Massachusetts in 1638. He married Margaret Chapin in 1902, and they adopted a daughter. He died on 2 October 1956 aged 83.

Select publications:
Nerve grafting in infantile paralysis. Boston med surg J 1910, 162, 893.
Orthopaedic work in a war hospital. Boston med surg J 1916, 174. 109-127.
Notes on excision of septic joints. Amer J orthop Surg 1918, 16, 132-140.
Internal derangement of the knee. J Bone Jr Surg 1923, 5, 635-697.
Orthopaedic aspects of chronic arthritis. J Bone Jt Surg 1926, 8, 1-41.

Sources used to compile this entry: [J Bone Jt Surg 1957, 39 A, 726; Brit med J 1956, 2, 1120 with appreciation by H J Seddon].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England