Galileo's contribution to modern orthopaedics.

Research paper by James R JR Jastifer, Luis H LH Toledo-Pereyra, Peter A PA Gustafson

Indexed on: 17 Jun '11Published on: 17 Jun '11Published in: Journal of investigative surgery : the official journal of the Academy of Surgical Research


Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), world-renowned Italian mathematician, astronomer, physicist and philosopher, made many contributions to science. The objective of this study is to demonstrate that Galileo's discovery of scaling principles permitted others to define and advance orthopaedic research and clinical sciences.The science and scaling principles of Galileo Galilei were extensively analyzed by reviewing his 1638 original work Discorsi e Demostrazioni Matematiche Intorno a Due Nuove Scienze. Works about Galileo's science were reviewed for the concept of the scaling principles and with the idea of shedding light on how his work influenced modern orthopaedics.Galileo strictly adhered to the Copernican heliocentric theory with the sun at the center of the universe, which caused him aggravation and made him the target of inquisition rage at the end of his prodigious life. With his attention away from the cosmos, Galileo--through the voices of Salviati, Sagredo and Simplicio in the Discourses on Two New Sciences--defined how scaling was important to the movement and function of objects. Galileo introduced important advances in scaling laws, which contributed to the development of the field of biomechanics. This discipline, in many ways, has defined modern clinical and research orthopaedics.Galileo, by introducing the principles of scaling, permitted their application to human physical capacity, to bone and tissue response after injury, and to clinical treatment of injuries. Galileo in this way made important contributions to the practice of modern orthopaedics.