PARIS - Dr. Yves Cotrel passed away January 29, 2019, at the age of 93.
Recognized worldwide as the inventor of groundbreaking implantable spinal instrumentation, Yves Cotrel revolutionized scoliosis surgery in 1983. Developed with Jean Dubousset, orthopedic surgeon from Saint-Vincent de Paul in Paris, the CD instrumentation (Cotrel-Dubousset) makes it possible to correct the alignment of the vertebral column and to consolidate the straightened segment. Thanks to the very high stab
“The story of my professional life has been marked by unforeseen and sometimes traumatic events....While I was destined for the career of obstetrician and planned to settle in Brittany, I was suddenly sent to Berck, in the north of France, to become an orthopedic surgeon. I would stay there for thirty years."
Born April 27, 1925 in Dinan, Yves Cotrel devoted his lif
ility of the CD assembly, uncomfortable plaster casts and corsets that patients were required to wear for nearly a year after the operation, were rendered unnecessary. To date, the CD devices have been implanted in more than two million patients worldwide.
e to scoliosis. From 1948 on, as head of the orthopedic department of the Institut Calot of Berck, France, he dedicated his expertise and empathy to serve his patients, who were often very young, and at the time were condemned to cumbersome, unsightly treatments, and long periods of immobilization at the hospital.
In 1975, he experienced three successive cardiac arrests forcing him to stop all professional activity. Unemployed, he discovered a vocation as a researcher. He could then put to use the sense of innovation he had acquired during a six month fellowship in United States in 1958 when he became familiar with the American techniques of the time. Three years later, a whole new implantable metal instrumentation emerged from a modest DIY workshop in his house in Brittany.
Although declared "permanently disabled," nothing shook his passion, his curiosity, or his desire for action. He travelled the world to train surgeons in the new technique; he attended classes and lectures,
one after another, and participated in exchanges of professional societies and welcomed fellows to Paris from all over the world.
In 1999, with the agreement of his wife Marie-Lou and their eight children, this man of passion, heart, and science created, under the auspices of the Institut de France, a foundation * for research on pathologies of the spine, which bears his name. "I wish that with the means, which I now have today at my disposal, to serve to continue the research for the benefit of a pathology to which I received the mission to work ..."
Today, the Cotrel Foundation supports more than 60 teams of researchers from around the world to take up Dr. Yves Cotrel's challenge: to reveal the secrets of idiopathic scoliosis, its causes and mechanisms of evolution.
According to his wishes, donations to the Cotrel - Institut de France * Foundation would be preferred to flowers.