This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
8 Now if the clavicle has been broken across, it sometimes unites correctly by itself, and unless moved can be cured without being bandaged; but sometimes, and especially when it has been moved, it slips out of place. And generally the fragment on the side of the breast is bent forwards, that on the side of the shoulder backwards. The reason is that the bone has no independent movement, but moves with the shoulder, while the part attached to the breast is immovable; therefore while this remains stationary, the shoulder-fragment is displaced below it by the movement of the shoulder. But so seldom does the clavicle incline forwards that great teachers have recorded that they have[p. 529] never seen it. However, the authority of Hippocrates is ample on this matter. But as the two cases are different, so they require different treatment. When the clavicle points towards the blade-bones, the shoulder is to be forced backwards with the palm of the right hand, and simultaneously the clavicle must be brought forwards. When the clavicle has been turned towards the chest it must be directed backwards, and the shoulder is to be drawn forwards, and if the shoulder is lower, the breast-fragment is not to be pressed down, for it is immobile, but the shoulder must be raised. And if the shoulder is higher the breast-fragment is to be covered with wool, and the arm bandaged to the chest. If the fragments have pointed ends, the skin over them should be incised, and the splinter which are injuring the flesh cut off from the bones, after which the blunted ends are to be brought together. If any part of the clavicle projects it should be covered with three layers of linen soaked in wine and oil. If the fragments are numerous, they must be fixed with a gutter-splint made of cane smeared on its inner side with cerate so that it does not slip under the bandage. The turns of the bandage when the clavicle is fixed should be many, rather than tight, and this should be the rule in the case of other fractured bones. If the right clavicle is fractured, the bandage must be carried from it to the left armpit, if the left clavicle, to the right armpit, then back under the armpit of the fractured side. After this, if the clavicle is inclined towards the shoulder-blade, the forearm is bandaged to the side; if it points forwards, the forearm is bandaged to the neck and the patient kept on his back. All the rest of[p. 531] the treatment is the same that was described above. But there are several bones almost immobile whether hard or cartilaginous, which cn be either fractured or bored into or crushed or split; such are the cheek-bones, breast-bone, shoulder-blade, ribs, spine, hip, ankle-bones, heel-bone, bones of the palm and sole. All these are treated in a similar way. If there is a wound over the fracture, it is to be dressed with the appropriate medicaments; as the wound heals callus also fills fissures in the bone or any perforation. If the skin is intact and we gather from the pain that the bone is injured, there is nothing else to do but to rest, apply a cerate and a light bandage until the pain is ended by the healing of the bone.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.