International Orthopaedics

, Volume 42, Issue 5, pp 1191–1196 | Cite as

Apollonius of Citium (first century BC) and his work on the treatment of joint dislocations

  • Konstantinos Markatos
  • Demetrios Korres
  • Demetrios Chytas
  • Marianna Karamanou
  • Ioannis Sourlas
  • Georgios Androutsos
  • Andreas Mavrogenis
Orthopaedic Heritage


The purpose of this study was to summarise the life and work of the Cypriot physician Apollonius of Citium (first century BC). His overall work on medicine is presented, and special emphasis is given to his work on the treatment of joint dislocations. The most famous work of Apollonius is Treatise On Joints, which was preserved on the whole in a manuscript of the tenth century AD. In that manuscript, Apollonius is obviously influenced by the Hippocratic Corpus of Medicine. His description, diagnostic methods and reduction techniques are all based on those described by Hippocrates in his work “On Joints”. Apollonius’ contribution to this subject concerns accurate depiction in images of the reduction techniques he proposes. His simplifications describe the techniques of Hippocrates in a way they can be understood and used by athletes and nonphysicians in the Greek gymnasia. Perhaps his treatise is one of the earliest works of popularised medicine and surgery in the history of human civilisation.


Apollonius of Citium Ancient medicine Joint dislocation Reduction technique History of orthopaedics 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare. (No funds were received in support of this study. No benefits in any form have been or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this manuscript.)


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Copyright information

© SICOT aisbl 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.2nd Department of Orthopaedics, Medical SchoolUniversity of AthensAthensGreece
  3. 3.1st Department of Orthopaedics, Medical SchoolUniversity of AthensAthensGreece

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