18 Facts About Alessandro Codivilla


Alessandro Codivilla was an Italian surgeon from Bologna and head of the surgical department of the hospital of Castiglion Fiorentino, known for his work in orthopaedics and first describing the pancreaticoduodenectomy.

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Alessandro Codivilla was born in Bologna, Italy, on 21 March 1861 and belonged to a humble family.

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Alessandro Codivilla's father was a pawnbroker at the financial institution of Monte di Pieta.

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Alessandro Codivilla was a very bright student, first of his class in high school, and had a particular attitude towards scientific subjects.

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Alessandro Codivilla obtained a degree in medicine and surgery in 1886, and, right after that, became assistant to professor Pietro Loreta, the man whose death shot down Alessandro Codivilla's possibilities for a career in teaching.

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Alessandro Codivilla was involved in the early development of skeletal traction.

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Alessandro Codivilla took up the job of chief surgeon in Imola on 1 January 1895 and stayed there until 1898.

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Alessandro Codivilla, leaving visceral surgery to devote himself to a discipline he knew so little about as orthopaedics, was not easy.

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Alessandro Codivilla was ingenious in modifying and planning surgery and instruments and possessed a truly exceptional manual dexterity of execution.

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Alessandro Codivilla had an iron will and enviable energy in proposing as well as acting.

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Alessandro Codivilla then went to Germany and France, where medicine had made numerous advances in the field of orthopaedics and there he befriended doctors and orthopaedic experts such as Volkmann, Konig, Bardenheuer, Albert, Mikulicz, Nicoladoni and Wolff.

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In 1902 the first meeting was held, and Alessandro Codivilla praised Pietro Panzeri, the former director of the Rizzoli Institute, who had recently passed away.

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Alessandro Codivilla participated actively in congresses and meetings during this period, and as a founding member of the Italian Orthopaedic Society he convened in 1906 the III Congress in Milan and in 1907 the IV Congress in Bologna.

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Alessandro Codivilla was president of the Medico-surgical Society of Bologna between 1903 and 1904 and president of the Italian Physical Therapy Society in 1906.

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Alessandro Codivilla was an official speaker at numerous national and international congresses: the 1st Congress of the International Society of Surgery in Brussels in 1905, at the 6th Italian Paediatric Congress in 1907, at the 16th International Congress of Medicine in Budapest in 1909, and at the 22nd meeting of the Italian Society of Surgery in Rome in 1910.

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Alessandro Codivilla continued his activity intensely until the autumn of 1911, when his physical condition rapidly began to decline, due to an illness that had begun to manifest itself clearly since 1907.

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Alessandro Codivilla, who had always had at heart the fate of Rizzoli rather than his own health, was tormented by the fear that the Rizzoli Institute could regress and that orthopaedics, cultivated with such dedication, could be changed in the future and take a different course from that which he himself advocated, and that is why he took his pupil Vittorio Putti under his wing.

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Alessandro Codivilla died in Bologna on 28 February 1912 at the age of 51, and after his death, Putti was elected president of the Rizzoli Institute and continued the work begun by his teacher.

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