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Part 72

It has been formerly stated by us that it will be of importance for any person who practices medicine in a populous city to get prepared a quadrangular board, about six cubits or a little more in length, and about two cubits in breadth; a fathom will be sufficient thickness for it; and then along it from the one end to the other, an excavation must be made, so that the working of the levers may not be higher than is proper; then at both sides we are to raise short, strong, and strongly-fixed posts, having axles; and in the middle of the bench five or six long grooves are to be scooped out about four inches distant from one another, three inches will be a sufficient breadth for them, and the depth in like manner; and although the number of grooves I have mentioned will be sufficient, there is nothing to prevent their being made all over the bench. And the bench should have in its middle a pretty deep hole, of a square shape, and of about three inches in size; and into this hole, when judged necessary, is to be adjusted a corresponding piece of wood, rounded above, which, at the proper time, is to be adjusted between the perineum and the head of the thigh-bone. This upright piece of wood prevents the body from yielding to the force dragging downward by the feet; for sometimes this piece of wood serves the purpose of counter-extension upward; and sometimes, too, when extension and counter-extension are made, this piece of wood, if susceptible of some motion to this side or that, will serve the purpose of a lever for pushing the head of the thigh-bone outward. It is on this account that several grooves are scooped out on the bench, [p. 270]so that this piece of wood, being erected at the one which answers, may act as a lever, either on the sides of the articular heads of bones, or may make pressure direct on the heads along with the extension, according as it may suit to push inward or outward with the lever; and the lever may be either of a round or broad form, as may be judged proper; for sometimes the one form and sometimes the other suits with the articulation. This mode of applying the lever along with extension is applicable in the reduction of all dislocations of the thigh. In the case now on hand, a round lever is proper; but in dislocations outward a flat lever will be the suitable one. By means of such machines and of such powers, it appears to me that we need never fail in reducing any dislocation at a joint.

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