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Part 18

Of the bones of the leg, the inner one, called the tibia, is the more troublesome to manage, and requires the greater extension; and if the broken bones are not properly arranged, it is impossible to conceal the distortion, for the bone is exposed and wholly uncovered with flesh; and it is much longer before patients can walk on the leg when this bone is broken. But if the outer bone be broken, it causes much less trouble, and the deformity, when the bones are not properly set, is much more easily concealed, the bone being well covered with flesh; and the patients speedily get on foot, for it is the inner bone of the leg which supports the most of the weight of the body. For along with the thigh, as being in a line with weight thrown upon the thigh, the inner bone has more work to sustain; inasmuch as it is the head of the thigh-bone which sustains the upper part of the body, and it is on the inner and not on the outer side of[p. 189] the thigh, being in a line with the tibia; and the other half of the body approximates more to this line than to the external one; and at the same time the inner bone is larger than the outer, as in the fore-arm the bone in the line of the little finger is the slenderer and longer. But in the joint of the inferior extremity, the disposition of the longer bone is not alike, for the elbow and the ham are bent differently. For these reasons when the external bone is broken, the patients can soon walk about; but in fractures of the inner, it is a long time before they can walk.

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