Part 1

I am acquainted with one form in which the shoulder-joint is dislocated, namely, that into the armpit; I have never seen it take place upward nor outward; and yet I do not positively affirm whether it might be dislocated in these directions or not, although I have something which I might say on this subject. But neither have I ever seen what I considered to be a dislocation forward. Physicians, indeed, fancy that dislocation is very apt to occur forward, and they are more particularly deceived in those persons who have the fleshy parts about the joint and arm much emaciated; for, in all such cases, the head of the arm appears to protrude forward. And I in one case of this kind having said that there was no dislocation, exposed myself to censure from certain physicians and common people on that account, for they fancied that I alone was ignorant of what everybody else was acquainted with, and I could not convince them but with difficulty, that the matter was so. But if one will strip the point of the shoulder of the fleshy parts, and where the muscle (deltoid?) extends, and also lay bare the tendon that goes from the armpit and clavicle to the breast (pectoral muscle?), the head of the humerus will appear to protrude strongly forward, although not dislocated, for the head of the humerus naturally inclines forward, but the rest of the bone is turned outward. The humerus is connected obliquely with the cavity of the scapula, when the arm is stretched along the sides; but when the whole arm is stretched forward, then the head of the humerus is in a line with the cavity of the humerus, and no longer appears to protrude forward. And with regard to the variety we are now treating of, I have never seen a case of dislocation forward; [p. 211]and yet I do not speak decidedly respecting it, whether such a dislocation may take place or not. When, then, a dislocation into the armpit takes place, seeing it is of frequent occurrence, many persons know how to reduce it, for it is an easy thing to teach all the methods by which physicians effect the reductions, and the best manner of applying them. The strongest of those methods should be used when the difficulty of reduction is particularly great. The strongest is the method to be last described.

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