Henry Ivanovich Turner was one of the founders of Russian orthopedics, the organizer and leader (since 1900) of Russia's first department and clinic of orthopedics, and Honorary Scientist of Russia (1927). He was the first in Russia to have raised the issue of the need for systematic state aid for disabled children.
Henry Turner devoted a lot of his efforts to helping children with physical disabilities and to restoring the opportunities in life for the disabled child. For many years, he led the work of the orphanage in St. Petersburg (Lakhtinskaya Street, 12), which in 1932 was transformed into the Scientific Research Institute for Children's Disability named after him. This institute has become an organizational and methodological center for treating children's disabilities in our country.
A man of high culture, a motivated and tireless surgeon, a talented organizer, Henry Turner left an indelible imprint on domestic medical science. He was among the founders of Russian surgery.
Henry Turner was born in September 1858 in St. Petersburg to a large family. After graduating from a gymnasium in 1876 (where curriculum included, among other subjects, French, German, Latin and Greek) he was enrolled as a student into the Medico-Surgical Academy, from which he graduated with honors in 1881, and began working as a surgeon.
Working as an assistant in a surgical hospital of the Aleksandrovskaya community of Red Cross Sisters, as well as in the surgical department of the Nikolaevsky military hospital, Henry Turner received excellent practical training and acquired extensive surgical experience. In 1890, the scientist was awarded the Sklifosovsky gold medal for one of his early studies "On the treatment of cicatricial contractures of the esophagus". In 1892 he expounded his doctoral thesis.
Scientific work and clinical research in the following years were almost entirely devoted to orthopedic subjects. Henry Turner made a noticeable contribution to world research in the curvature of the femoral neck, in traumatic epiphysis, the new method of knee arthrodesis and chronic patellar fractures, Bechterev disease of the spine, the manifestation of the defenses of the body during tuberculous spondylitis, march fractures of the foot, and the clinical forms of postoperative fat embolism. A special place is held by his research concerning the influence of congenital anomalies of the spine on ability to work, the developmental defects of the spine and lumbar pain, and the mechanism of spondylolisthesis formation.
In 1895, the Academic Council of the Medico-Surgical Academy awarded Henry Turner the title of privat-docent, and a year later he was confirmed as a professor.
By intensively introducing orthopedics into the program of teaching at the oldest high school in the country - the Military Medical Academy, Henry Turner strengthened the widespread recognition of this new, independent branch of surgery.
Numerous studies of Henry Turner are in the field of technical inventions. He himself skillfully sculpted from clay and wax, had a talent for carving wood, and excellently drew with pencil and paints. He always made drawings for his printed works himself.
Among Henry Turner's many activities, his public service is especially noteworthy. He took an active part in the popularization of information on the prevention of diseases and injuries among the population, and in practical training in the methods of providing first aid to the injured.
In 1900 he published the popular book "First aid before the arrival of a doctor." For example, his book "Application of Bandages" had six editions.
Henry Turner was a prominent figure in the fight against children's disability. He was the first in Russia to raise his voice in defence of a disabled child, he pointed out the need for a systematic assistance of the state in coping with children's disability.
Henry Turner called for help to disabled children, first of all, with orthopedic treatment which took into account upbringing, education and professional training.