William John Little (1810–1894)
MetadataShow full item record
William John Little was one of the first orthopedic surgeons to research congenital malformations and their causes in the nineteenth century and presented preliminary research on a condition modernly known as cerebral palsy, a condition of varying severity that affects a person’s ability to move. Little worked throughout the United Kingdom for the majority of the time he practiced medicine, and eventually founded one of the first orthopedic infirmaries, the Royal Orthopedic Hospital in London, England. Throughout his career, Little studied congenital malformations, which are medical conditions inherited before birth, as well as how certain medical circumstances during delivery affect the neonate. In 1861, he described a condition with motor, behavioral, and cognitive irregularities in neonates, linked with oxygen deprivation during birth. Little’s research on that condition, originally called Little’s disease, and modernly, spastic cerebral palsy, was one of the first accounts of cerebral palsy in infants.