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Clover's lithotomy crutch, London, England, 1860-1904

This device was used to hold a patient in position during a lithotomy operation. The patient would lie facing upwards with their buttocks positioned at the end of the operating table. The hips and knees were fully bent and the feet were locked in position using a crutch. This example is made from steel with leather padding and was invented by Joseph Clover (1825-1885), a surgeon and anaesthetist. Clover became an expert at lithotomy procedures and also invented a number of other instruments to aid his work.

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Glossary: lithotomy crutch

to hold the patient in the lithotomy position

Glossary: lithotomy

The operation of cutting stones from the hollow organs, such as the kidney or bladder.