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Part 9

The human foot is composed of several small bones like the hand. These bones therefore are scarcely ever broken, unless the skin at the same time be wounded by some sharp and heavy body. The treatment of such injuries, therefore, will be delivered under the head of wounds. But if any bone be moved from its place, or a joint of the toes be luxated, or any of the bones of the part called the tarsus be displaced, it must be forced back again to its place as described with regard to the hand; and is to be treated with cerate, compresses, and bandages, like the fractures, with the exception of the splints; and is to be secured tightly in the same way, and the bandages renewed on the third day; and the patient thus bandaged should return the same answers as in fractures, as to the bandages feeling tight or slack. All these bones recover perfectly in twenty days, except those that are connected with the bones of the leg, and are in a line with them. It is advantageous to lie in bed during the whole of this time; but the patients, thinking light of the complaint, have not perseverance to do this, and they walk about before they get well; wherefore many of these do not make a perfect recovery. And often the pain puts them in mind of the injury; and deservedly, for the feet sustain the weight of the whole body. When, therefore, they walk about before they are whole, the joints which have been luxated are cured incompletely; and, on that account, while walking about, they have pains in the leg from time to time.

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