| [p. 203]portance. In wounds of this sort, then, one ought not to be ignorant
of the dangers, and should prognosticate them in due time. But if
you are compelled to have recourse to reduction, and hope to succeed,
and if the bones do not cross one another much, and if the muscles
are not contracted (for they usually are contracted), the lever in
such cases may be advantageously employed.
Having effected the reduction, you must give an emollient draught
of hellebore the same day, provided it has been reduced on the day
of the accident, but otherwise it should not be attempted. The wound
should be treated with the same things as are used in fractures of
the bones of the head, and nothing cold should be applied; the patient
should be restricted from food altogether, and if naturally of a bilious
constitution, he should have for a diet a little fragrant oxyglyky
sprinkled on water; but if he is not bilious, he should have water
for drink; and if fever of the continual type come on, he is to be
confined to this regimen for fourteen days at least, but if he be
free of fever, for only seven days, and then you must bring him back
by degrees to a common diet. To those cases in which the bones have
not been reduced, a similar course of medicine should be administered,
along with the same treatment of the sores and regimen; and in like
manner the suspended part of the body should not be stretched, but
should rather be contracted, so as to relax the parts about the wound.
The separation of the bones is protracted, as also was formerly stated.
But one should try to escape from such cases, provided one can do
so honourably, for the hopes of recovery are small, and the dangers
many; and if the physician do not reduce the fractured bones he will
be looked upon as unskillful, while by reducing them he will
bring the patient nearer to death than to recovery.
Luxations and subluxations at the knee are much milder accidents than
subluxations and luxations at the elbow. For the knee-joint, in proportion
to its size, is more compact than that of the arm, and has a more
even conformation, and is