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Part 36

Displacement of the spine, if inward, threatens immediate death, attended with retention of urine and loss of sensibility. Outward, the accident is free from most of these bad effects, much more so than where there is merely concussion without displacement; the effects in the former case being confined to the spot affected, whereas in the latter they are further communicated to the whole body, and are of a mortal character. In like manner, when the ribs are fractured, whether one or more, provided there be no splinters, there is rarely fever, spitting of blood, and sphacelus, and ordinary treatment without evacuation will suffice, provided there be no fever;-bandaging, according to rule; and the callus forms in twenty days, the bone being of a porous nature. But in cases of contusion, tubercles form, along with cough, suppurating sores, and sphacelus of the ribs, for nerves from all the parts run along each rib. In many of these cases haemoptysis and empyema also take place. The management of this case consists in careful treatment, bandaging according to rule, diet at first restricted, but afterward more liberal, quiet, silence, position, bowels, and venereal matters regulated. Even when there is no spitting of blood, these contusions are more painful than fractures, and are more subject in time to relapses; and when any mucous collection is left in the part, it makes itself be felt in disorders of the body. Treatment:-burning, when the bone is [p. 294]affected, down to the bone, but not touching the bone itself; if in the intercostal space, the burning must not extend through it, nor be too superficial. In sphacelus of the ribs, tents are to be tried, all other particulars will be stated afterward: but they should be learned by sight rather than by words, namely, food, drink, heat, cold, attitude; medicines, dry, liquid, red, dark, white, sour, for the ulcers, and so with regard to the diet.

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