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25 This is the treatment for those cases in which no wound accompanies the dislocation. . . . In these cases too there is not only great danger but it is more serious, the larger the limb, and the more powerful the sinews and muscles controlling it. Hence in the case of the shoulder and hip joints there is risk of death: and if the bones are set, there is no hope at all; if not, there is still some danger, and in either case the nearer the wound is to the joint the greater the cause for anxiety. Hippocrates said that no such dislocation could be replaced safely except those of fingers and toes, and feet and hands, and even in these cases it was best not to be in a hurry. Some have also replaced elbows and knees; and have then let blood at the elbow, lest gangrene and spasm should arise, after which generally in such cases an early death follows. Even a finger, in which the damage and therefore the damage is least, ought not to be reset whilst there is inflammation, or indeed at a later stage when the condition is of long standing. Moreover, when after replacement the sinews become tense, the bone should at once be put out again. Where there is a dislocation and a wound as well, the limb which has not been seet should lie in the position easiest[p. 587] to the patient; only it must not be moved or hang downwards. In every disorder of this kind there is great advantage in prolonged abstinence, and then in the treatment described above for fractured bones when there is also a wound. If bare bone projects, it will always be troublesome; hence the projection is to be sawn away and dry lint and medicaments without lard put on, until what is possible in the way of healing for such a case is arrived at; for weakness of the limb follows and the scar that forms is thin, and this of necessity is afterwards readily subject to injury.
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