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Part 55

When such a dislocation is not reduced in adults, the whole limb appears to be shortened, and in walking they cannot reach the ground with the heel, but they walk with the ball of the foot on the ground, and the points of their toes incline a little inward. But the injured limb, in this case, can support the body much better than in dislocation inward, both because the head of the femur and the neck of its articular extremity, being naturally oblique, have formed a bed under a considerable portion of the hip, and because the extremity of the foot is not forcibly turned outward, but is nearly in a line with the body, and is even inclined more inwardly. When, then, the articular extremity of the femur has worn out a socket for itself in the flesh where it was lodged, and the flesh is lubricated, it ceases to be painful in the course of time, and when it becomes free from pain, they can walk without a staff, if so inclined, and they can support the body on the injured limb. From usage then, in such cases, the fleshy parts are less enervated than in those which have been mentioned a little before, still, however, they lose their strength more or less; but in general there is more enervation when the dislocation is inward than when it is outward. Some of them, then, cannot wear their shoes, owing to the unbending state of their leg, and some of them can. But when this dislocation takes place in utero, and when the dislocation having occurred at any time before manhood, from violence, has not been replaced, or when from disease the articular extremity has started from its socket, and is displaced (for many such cases occur, and from some of them, if the femur become necrosed, obstinate suppurations requiring the use of tents are formed, and in certain of them the bone is laid bare), whether the bone become necrosed or not, the bone of the thigh is much shortened, and does not usually grow like the sound one, the bones, too, of the leg, become shorter than those [p. 255]of the other, but in a small degree, for the same reasons that were formerly stated; such persons can walk, some of them in the same fashion as adults having an unreduced dislocation, and some of them walk with the whole foot on the ground, but limp in walking, being obliged to do so by the shortness of the limb. Such is the result, even though they be carefully and properly trained in the attitudes before they have strength for walking, and in like manner also, after they have acquired the necessary strength; but those persons require the most care who were very young when they met with the accident, for, if neglected while children, the limb becomes entirely useless and atrophied. The fleshy parts of the entire limb are more wasted than those of the sound limb, but this is much less apt to happen in their case than in dislocation inward, owing to usage and exercise, as they are speedily able to make use of the limb, as was stated a little before with regard to the weasel-armed (galiancones).

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