Celebrating an AO founding father’s birthday

August ‘Urs’ Guggenbühl was also an AO VET founding member

The AO this week celebrates the birthday of AO founding father August "Urs" Guggenbühl. He was born November 17, 1918, in Grenchen, Switzerland. He studied medicine in Geneva, Fribourg, and Basel, Switzerland, passed the state exam in 1946, and received his doctorate in 1946. 

In 1957, Guggenbühl became head of department at the Hospital Grenchen where he served until 1983. It was at the Hospital Grenchen that he permitted Robert Mathys to be present at a hip osteotomy that was performed by AO founder Maurice Müller in 1958 in his role as a guest surgeon. A year later, Guggenbühl and AO founder Hans Willenegger published the first series on operatively treated distal radius fractures. Like Willenegger, Guggenbühl was a great friend of animals and he often worked with veterinary surgeons; he became a founding member of AO VET in 1968.

After his retirement in 1984, Guggenbühl moved to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to act as AO delegate; he managed a large state trauma clinic there until 1995. In those years, he actively participated in various AO courses in the Middle East and the United Arab Emirates. Guggenbühl, Müller, and Walter Stähli attended the AO's 50th anniversary in 2008. He passed away in 2009.