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Part 18

When the thigh-bone is broken, particular pains should be taken with regard to the extension that it may not be insufficient, for when excessive, no great harm results from it. For, if one should bandage a limb while the extremities of the bone are separated to a distance from one another by the force of the extension, the bandaging will not keep them separate, and so the bones will come together again as soon as the persons stretching it let go their hold; for the fleshy parts (muscles?) being thick and strong, are more powerful than the bandaging, instead of being less so. In the case then which we are now treating of, nothing should be omitted in order that the parts may be properly distended and put in a straight line; for it is a great disgrace and an injury to exhibit a shortened thigh. For the arm, when shortened, might be concealed, and the mistake would not be great; but a shortened thigh-bone would exhibit the man maimed. For when the sound limb is placed beside it, being longer than the other, it exposes the mistake, and therefore it would be to the advantage of a person who would be improperly treated that both his legs should be broken, rather than either of them; for in this case the one would be of the same length as the other. When, then, proper extension has been made, you must adjust the parts with the palms of the hands, and bandage the limb in the manner formerly described, placing the hands of the bandages as was directed, and making the turns upward. And the patient should return the same answers to the same questions as formerly, should be pained and recover in like manner, and should have the bandaging[p. 190] renewed in the same way; and the application of the splints should be the same. The thigh-bone is consolidated in forty days.

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