The first techniques of operative fracture treatment were developed in the 19th century. In fact, these methods only consisted of an open reduction of the fracture followed by a usually very unstable fixation. This method gave rise to the combination of the disadvantages of the conservative and the operative fracture treatment: the fracture had to be opened with a real risk for (sometimes lethal) infection, the bone healing was disturbed, there was muscular atrophy and joint stiffness. The successes were very rare and catastrophes were often seen. Küntscher's endomedullary rods can be considered as the first useful implants in the treatment of diaphyseal fractures. Reaming of the medullary canal and the development of interlocking nails have enlarged the indications for intramedullary nailing. The classic Dynamic Compression Plates from the seventies were the key to a very rigid fixation, leading to primary bone healing. Nevertheless, the use of strong plates and reamed nails disturbed the vascularisation of the bone fragments, leading to a high infection rate (particularly in open fractures) and delayed union (particularly after plate and screw fixation). These insights lead to the development of the "biological osteosynthesis" : a terminology introduced to indicate a new type of osteosynthesis leading to a sufficiently stable fixation of the bone fragments allowing early mobilisation, but without major disturbance of the vascularisation. The unreamed nail can also be considered as a biological osteosynthesis and in a lot of cases it is the implant of choice for tibial and femoral shaft fractures, especially in polytrauma patients. Finally, some new devices contributing to the principles of biological osteosynthesis like locking plates and the LIS-System are gaining popularity.