Orthopedic History in Iran: Ancient, Contemporary and Modern Times


Department of Orthopedic and Trauma Surgery, Shariati Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Ancient Iran
Signs of pierced skulls and healed broken bones have been found in the archaeological site of “Shahr-e Sūkhté” (the Burnt City), a large Bronze Age urban habitation located in Sistan and Baluchistan Province at the southeastern part of Iran, going back to over 4000 years ago. The treatment of patients in ancient Iran was mostly carried out by the spiritualist clergymen1.
Abu Bakr Mohammad Zakaria Razi, Razes, (854– 925) has described joint sprains, fractures, and bone anomalies in his “The Kitab al-Hawi Fi Tebb”. He was the first to use plaster casts for fracture immobilization. Later, Avicenna (980-1037) used tractions and splints for fracture management. He also used plaster casts, mummies and bitumen to support and protect fractures1.
Rashid al-Din Fazlullah Hamedani (1247–1318), the powerful vizier of Ghazan, established and endowed "Rab-e-Rashidi", the clinical teaching complex in Tabriz, where orthopedic training as well as the management of fractures was also carried out. However, the establishment was looted and destroyed after the execution of Rashid al-Din Fazlullah. Thereafter, medicine was long declined in Iran, and there was no other place in the name of hospital where patients could be treated2.