Mario Mercuri was one of the finest orthopaedic surgeons who practiced at the Rizzoli Institute. He passed away in May 2011 owing to complications of cancer, a disease that he had been personally fighting for approximately 3 years and that he had been fighting his entire professional career to help patients with cancer.

Professor Mercuri was a skilled surgeon, an excellent doctor, and wonderful man. He was born in Rovigo, a small town in Veneto, not far from Bologna on December 7, 1950. When he was a boy and young student he had many interests, played sports, especially soccer, and had many friends. While studying Medicine in Bologna he lost his older brother who had acute leukemia and this loss and sadness likely influenced his future choices as a doctor.

When Mario began to study orthopaedic surgery he initially was dedicated to traumatology and knee surgery. After a short time as an assistant in the Orthopaedic Hospital in Cortina d’Ampezzo, at that time part of the Rizzoli, he was assigned to the Department of Orthopaedics directed by Professor Campanacci at Rizzoli in Bologna. Mario then progressively focused on the study and treatment of musculoskeletal tumors. He became Associate Professor at the University of Bologna in 1999, and after Professor Campanacci’s death in January 1999, succeeded him as head of the department. During the next 13 years Mario substantially advanced surgery in the Musculoskeletal Oncology Department at Rizzoli and was dedicated not only to orthopaedic oncology but also to prosthetic reconstructions, complex joint revisions, and sports medicine.

Mario authored or coauthored more than 400 scientific papers published in national and international journals and spoke at more than 280 national or international meetings. He assumed Professor Campanacci’s position as Director of the Rizzoli Annual International Course on Musculoskeletal Pathology and was actively involved in teaching activities of the School of Orthopaedic Surgery at Rizzoli. Mario was particularly dedicated to the field of reconstruction in musculoskeletal oncology and he actively participated in the evolution of modular prosthetic systems together with the University of Wien, the Mayo Clinic, and the Moffitt Cancer Center. He especially focused on surgery of pelvic tumors.

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