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Part 57

In dislocations of the head of the femur backward, which rarely occur, the patient cannot extend the leg, either at the dislocated joint, or at the ham, to any extent, and of all the dislocations, this is the variety in which the patients have the least power of making extension at the groin and the ham. But, moreover, this also should be known (for it is a valuable piece of knowledge, and of much importance, and yet most yet most people are ignorant of it), that persons in health cannot extend the joint [p. 256]at the ham, if they do not extend the joint at the groin at the same time, unless they raise the foot very high, for in this way they could do it; neither also could they bend the joint at the ham, but with much greater difficulty, if they do not bend the joint at the groin at the same time. There are many other things in the body which have similar connections, both with regard to the contractions of nerves (ligaments?), and the positions of muscles, and many of them more worthy of being known than is generally supposed, and with regard to the nature of the intestine and that of the whole internal cavity, and with regard to the displacements and contractions of the uterus; but all these things will be treated of elsewhere, in a work akin to the present one. But with regard to the matter on hand, they cannot make extension, as has been already stated; and the limb appears shortened, for two reasons-first, because it cannot be extended, and also because the bone has slipped into the flesh of the nates; for the head and neck of the femur, in this dislocation, are carried downward from their natural situation, to the outside of the nates. But yet they can bend the limb, unless prevented by pain, and the leg and foot appear pretty straight, and not much inclined toward either side, but at the groin the flesh, when felt, appears looser, from the bone of the joint having slipped to the other side, but at the nates the head of the femur may be felt to be more prominent than natural. Such are the symptoms accompanying dislocation of the thigh backward.

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