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Part 6

When the third day arrives, that is to say, the seventh from the first dressing, if properly done, the swelling in the hand should be not very great; and the part which has been bandaged should be found more slender and less swelled at each time, and on the seventh day the swelling should be quite gone, and the broken bones should be more readily moved, and admit of being easily adjusted. And if these things be so, you should, [p. 177]after setting the fracture, apply the bandages so as to suit the splints, and a little more tight than formerly, unless there be more pain from the swelling in the hand. When you have applied the bandages, you must adjust the splints all around the limb, and secure them with strings so loose as just to keep them in their place, without the application of the splints contributing at all to the compression of the arm. After this the pain and recovery should proceed as in the preceding periods of the bandaging. But if, on the third day, the patient say that the bandaging is loose, you must then fasten the splints, especially at the fracture, but also elsewhere, wherever the bandaging is rather loose than tight. The splint should be thickest where the fracture protrudes, but it should not be much more so than elsewhere. Particular attention should be paid to the line of the arm corresponding to the thumb, so that no splint be laid on it, but upon each side of it, nor in the line of the little finger where the bone is prominent at the wrist, but on each side of it. And if it be found necessary that splints should be applied in these directions at the seat of the fracture, they should be made shorter than the others, so as that they may not reach the bones which are prominent at the wrist, for otherwise there is danger of ulceration, and of the tendons being laid bare. The splints should be adjusted anew every third day, in a very gentle manner, always keeping in mind that the object of the splints is to maintain the lower bandages in their place, and that they are not needed in order to contribute to the compression.

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