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Part 60

When persons have attained their full growth before meeting with this dislocation, and when it has not been reduced, upon the subsidence of the pain, and when the bone of the joint has been accustomed to be rotated in the place where it is lodged, these persons can walk almost erect without a staff, and with the injured leg almost quite straight, as it does not admit of easy flexion at the groin and the ham; owing, then, to this want of flexion at the groin, they keep the limb more straight in walking than they do the sound one. And sometimes they drag the foot along the ground, as not being able to bend the upper part of the limb, and they walk with the whole foot on the ground; for in walking they rest no less on the heel than on the fore part of the foot; and if they could take great steps, they would rest entirely on the heel in walking; for persons whose limbs are sound, the greater the steps they take in walking, rest so much the more on the heel, while they are putting down the one foot and raising the opposite. In this form of dislocation, persons rest their weight more on the heel than on the anterior part of the foot, for the fore part of the foot cannot be bent forward equally well when the rest of the limb is extended as when it is in a state of flexion; neither, again, can the foot be arched to the same degree the limb is bent as when it is extended. The natural state of matters is such as has been now described; and in an unreduced dislocation, persons walk in the manner described, for the reasons which have been stated. The limb, moreover, is less fleshy than the other, at the nates, the calf of the leg, and the whole of its posterior part. When this dislocation occurs in infancy, and is not reduced, or when it is congenital, in these cases the bone of the thigh is more atrophied than those of the leg and foot; but the atrophy of the thigh-bone is least of all in this form of dislocation. The fleshy parts, however, are everywhere attenuated, more especially behind, as has been stated above. If properly trained, [p. 260]such persons, when they grow up, can use the limb, which is only a little shorter than the other, and yet they support themselves on a staff at the affected side. For, not being able to use properly the ball of the foot without the heel, nor to put it down as some can in the other varieties of dislocation (the cause of which has been just now stated), on this account they require a staff. But those who are neglected, and are not in the practice of putting their foot to the ground, but keep the limb up, have the bones more atrophied than those who use the limb; and, at the articulations, the limb is more maimed in the direct line than in the other forms of dislocation.

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