The Tree of Andry

If you have been to our Bettendorf clinic, you may have noticed the tree just to the left of our entrance.  We proudly moved the 300 pound steel “rustic tree” from our former Lombard clinic where it was housed for many years.  Patients have asked us over the years, what does the tree mean?

This tree, actually titled, the “Tree of Andry” has become the symbol for many orthopedic organizations around the world. Ask any orthopedic surgeon who the founder of orthopedics is and they will tell you Nicholas Andry.

It was Andry who first used the word “orthopaedics” in a book published in 1741. The word “orthopaedics” comes from the words for straight (“orthos” and child (“-paideia”). The book concerned itself with prevention and correction of deformities of the spine and bones of children.

Within the text he illustrated the “crooked tree” and used the image of the sapling strapped to a stake to illustrate his ideas. Notice that there is a rope tied around the trunk to a straight stake – turns out a bent tree braced to a stake can help to make it grow upward and straight.

Pay attention to the Tree of Andry – you will find it in other places at our clinics!