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33 When gangrene has developed between the nails and in the armpits or groins, and if medicaments have failed to cure it, the limb, as I have stated elsewhere, must be amputated. But even that involves very great risk; for patients often die under the operation, either from loss of blood or syncope. It does not matter, however, whether the remedy is safe enough, since it is the only [p. 471] one. Therefore, between the sound and the diseased part, the flesh is to be cut through with a scalpel down to the bone, but this must not be done actually over a joint, and it is better that some of the sound part should be cut away than that any of the diseased part should be left behind. When the bone is reached, the sound flesh is drawn back from the bone and undercut from around it, so that in that part also some bone is bared; the bone is next to be cut through with a small saw as near as possible to the sound flesh which still adheres to it; next the face of the bone, which the saw has roughened, is smoothed down, and the skin drawn over it; this must be sufficiently loosened in an operation of this sort to cover the bone all over as completely as possible. The part where the skin has not been brought over is to be covered with lint; and over that a sponge soaked in vinegar is to be bandaged on. The remaining treatment is that prescribed for wounds in which suppuration is to be brought about.
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