Wednesday 26 April 2023

Not my sister, but a Xyster!

What is a Xyster?

When working the way through the alphabet for a Blog challenge like this current April one, it’s always difficult to find something beginning with the letter ‘x’.

This is, therefore, going to be a very short post relating to the word xyster.

What is a xyster? - It’s a medical instrument for scraping bones; a surgical rasp; or file.

N.B. There may also be a more current use of the same word ‘xyster’ for a ‘Fandom Singing Animal’ from something called Magical Sanctum,  but I’m ignoring that one.


Actually, since I’m not sure I want to really research a lot about how a medical surgeon actually uses a zyster, I might be better to research the cute little breeding animals!

An up-to-date model xyster has two functions for the surgeon: it can be used as a knife; or a curette for scrapping away unwanted material. Being able to use the single tool, it appears, enhances the efficiency of the surgeon who does not require to change his instruments so frequently. This reduces the duration of the operation and can therefore be less stressful and less painful for the patient.

Did surgeons in Victorian Scotland use an instrument for bone surgery like the one above? They would have used something similar, though probably not one guaranteed to produce less pain during the event. 

I’m done with the xyster for today. Should you wish to do more research yourself on the xyster, feel free! You can view Victorian surgical tools on the internet, and some of the collections images may contain a xyster, but I'm not adding them here.

But…tune in for the next post in this series, because it is about another medical theme in Victorian Scotland. 


image: Buxton 

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