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Biographical entry Gibson, Alexander (1883 - 1956)

MRCS and FRCS 11 December 1913; MB BCh Edinburgh 1908; FRSEd 1917; FACS 1920.

29 March 1956
Winnipeg, Canada
Orthopaedic surgeon


Born at Edinburgh 1883, he won the Ettles and Vans Dunlop scholarships and the Leckie Mactier Fellowship at the University. He was house physician and house surgeon at the Royal Infirmary and demonstrator of anatomy and clinical tutor in gynaecology at the University. He came to London to be surgical registrar and medical superintendent at the Seamen's Hospital, Greenwich; but, after taking the Fellowship in 1913, he emigrated to Winnipeg to become Professor of Anatomy at Manitoba Medical School and lecturer in applied anatomy in the University. He served in India and Egypt, and was torpedoed in the Adriatic, during the war of 1914-18. On his return to Canada he became an orthopaedic surgeon and was Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Manitoba and consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Winnipeg General Hospital.

In the second world war he served in Scotland in charge of the Canadian Red Cross Hospital at Hairmyres, Lanarkshire. He was senior member of the Association of American Orthopaedic Surgeons, President of the Canadian Orthopaedic Association and of the Winnipeg Medico-Legal Society, and life-member of the Winnipeg Medical Society. Gibson attended the Orthopaedic Congress of the English-Speaking World in London in1952, and lectured on the vertebral column at the Winnipeg meeting of the RCPS Canada in 1954. He was at his best as teacher and scholar, and was most unassuming. He was a prolific writer, notably on the surgery of the hip-joint, and a remarkably clear lecturer. He was the first to advocate the self-locking, self-retaining spinal bone-graft, and the first to record that the semilunar cartilage of the knee can regenerate. He also refined and made generally known Kocher's postero-lateral approach to the hip-joint. He died at Winnipeg on 29 March 1956 aged 73, survived by his wife.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1956, 1, 1050; Lancet 1956, 1 582; J Bone Jt Surg 1957, 39 B, 154 with portrait, by R I Harris of Toronto and W B MacKinnon of Winnipeg].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England