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Part 49

And one might observe many other instances in medicine, of considerable injuries not proving serious, but producing a crisis in some affection, while less considerable injuries prove more serious, give rise to chronic diseases, and extend their effects to the whole system. Now something similar may happen in fracture of the ribs; for in fracture of one or more ribs, in general, if the fractured bones are not driven inward, nor are laid bare, fever rarely supervenes, neither does it often happen that there is haemoptysis, empyema, and suppurating sores, which require treatment with pledgets, nor necrosis of the bones; and in these cases the ordinary regimen is sufficient. For, unless they be seized with continual fever, a strict diet does more harm than good, by inducing inanition, and increasing the pain, fever, and cough; for moderate fullness of the intestines has a tendency to replace the ribs, while evacuation leads to suspension of the ribs, and suspension induces pain. Ordinary bandaging, externally, is sufficient in such cases; the bandages should be applied moderately tight, along with cerate and compresses, or a pad of wool may be applied. The rib is consolidated in twenty days, for callus soon forms in such bones.

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