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Part 12

When the bone happens to be denuded of flesh by the weapon, and when the wound occurs upon the sutures, it is difficult to distinguish the indentation (hedra) of a weapon which is clearly recognized in other parts of the bone, whether it exist or not, and especially if the hedra be seated in the sutures themselves. For the suture being rougher than the rest of the bone occasions confusion, and it is not clear which is the suture, and which the mark inflicted by the instrument, unless the latter[p. 152] (hedra) be large. Fracture also for the most part is combined with the indentation when it occurs in the sutures; and this fracture is more difficult to discern when the bone is broken, on this account, that if there be a fracture, it is situated for the most part in the suture. For the bone is liable to be broken and slackened there, owing to the natural weakness of the bone there, and to its porosity, and from the suture being readily ruptured and slackened: but the other bones which surround the suture remain unbroken, because they are stronger than the suture. For the fracture which occurs at the suture is also a slackening of the suture, and it is not easy to detect whether the bone be broken and slackened by the indentation of a weapon occurring in the suture, or from a contusion of the bone at the sutures; but it is still more difficult to detect a fracture connected with contusion. For the sutures, having the appearance of fissures, elude the discernment and sight of the physician, as being rougher than the rest of the bone, unless the bone be strongly cut and slackened (for a cut and a hedra are the same thing). But it is necessary, if the wound has occurred at the sutures, and the weapon has impinged on the bone or the parts about it, to pay attention and find out what injury the bone has sustained. For a person wounded to the same, or a much smaller, extent, and by weapons of the same size and quality, and even much less, will sustain a much greater injury, provided he has received the blow at the sutures, than if it was elsewhere. And many of these require trepanning, but you must not apply the trepan to the sutures themselves, but on the adjoining bone.

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