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Part 41

In those cases where there are wounds, either at first, or from protrusion of the bones; or afterwards, from pruritus, or [p. 298]irritation; in the latter case you are immediately to unloose the bandages, and having applied pitched cerate to the wound, bandage the limb, placing the head of the roller upon the wound, and proceeding otherwise as if there were no wound in the case; for thus will the swelling be reduced as much as possible, and the wound will suppurate most quickly, and the diseased parts will separate, and when it becomes clean the wound will most quickly heal. Splints are not to be applied to the place, nor is it to be bound tight. Proceed thus when no large bones exfoliate, but not in the latter case, for then there is great suppuration, and the same treatment is not applicable, but the parts require to be exposed to the air on account of the abscesses. In such cases where the bones protrude, and whether reduced or not, bandaging is not befitting, but distention is to be practiced by means of rolls of cloth, made like those used upon shackles; one of these is to be placed at the ankle, and the other at the knee; they are to be flattened toward the leg, soft, strong, and having rings; and rods made of cornel, and of a proper length and thickness are to be adjusted to them, so as to keep the parts distended; and straps, attached to both extremities, are to be inserted into the rings, so that the extremities being fixed into the rolls, may effect distention. Treatment:-Pitched cerate, in a hot state; the attitudes, position of the foot and hip; regulated diet. The bones which have protruded through the skin are to be replaced the same day, or next; not on the fourth or fifth, but when the swelling has subsided. Reduction is to be performed with levers; when the bone does not present any place upon which the lever can rest, a portion of the part which prevents this is to be sawed off. But the denuded parts will drop off, and the limb become shortened.

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    • Thomas W. Allen, E. E. Sikes, Commentary on the Homeric Hymns, HYMN TO HERMES
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