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Book VII

This webpage reproduces a section of
De Medicina (On Medicine)

A. Cornelius Celsus

published in Vol. III
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1935

The text is in the public domain.

This text has not yet been proofread.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!

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(Vol. III) Celsus
On Medicine

 p475  Book VIII

1 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] The remaining part of my work relates to the bones; and to make this more easily understood, I will begin by pointing out their positions and shapes.

First then comes the skull,​1 concave internally, convex externally, on both aspects smooth, where it covers the cerebral membrane as well as where it is covered by the skin bearing hair; and it is in one layer from the back of the head to the temples, in two layers from the forehead to the vertex. Its bones are hard externally, but the inner parts which connect them together are softer, and between these run large blood-vessels which probably supply their nutrition. 2 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]It is rare for the skull to be solid without sutures; in hot countries, however, this is more easily found;​2 and that kind of head is the firmest and safest from headaches. As for the rest, the fewer the sutures, the better for the heads; and there is no certainty as to the number, or even as to the position of the sutures. Generally, however, there are two above the ears separating the temples from the upper part of the head: a third stretches to the ears across the vertex and separates the occiput from the top of the head. 3 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]A fourth runs likewise from the vertex over the middle of the head  p477 to the forehead, sometimes ending at the hairy margin, sometimes dividing the forehead itself and ending between the eyebrows. Most of these are dovetailed, but those which cross over above the ears are bevelled off a little all along their margin so that the lower bones smoothly overlap the upper. Now the thickest bone in the head is behind the ear, where hair does not grow, probably on that very account. 4 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Under the muscles covering the temples is situated the middle bone which slopes outwards. But the face has the largest suture; it begins at one temple, passes across the middle of the orbits and nose to the other temple. From this suture two short sutures are directed downwards from the inner corners of the eyes; and the cheeks at their upper parts also have transverse sutures. From the middle of the nostrils or of the gums of the upper teeth, one suture runs back through the middle of the palate, another cuts the same palate transversely. These are the sutures found in most skulls.

5 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Now the largest passages leading into the head are those of the eyes, next the nostrils, then those of the ears. Those of the eyes lead direct and without branching into the brain. The two nasal passages are separated by an intermediate bone. These begin at the eyebrows and eye-corners, and their structure is for almost a third part bony, then changes into cartilage, and the nearer they get to the mouth the more soft and fleshy their structure becomes. 6 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Now these passages are single between the highest and lowest part of the nostrils, but there they each break up into two branches, one set from the nostrils to the throat​3 for expiration and inspiration,  p479 the other leading to the brain and split up in its last part into numerous small channels through which we get our sense of smell. In the ear the passage is also at first straight and single, but as it goes further becomes tortuous. And close to the brain this too is divided into numerous fine passages which give the faculty of hearing. 7 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Adjacent to the passages there are two little pits, as it were, above which ends the bones which stretches across from the cheek, supported by deeper-seated bones: it may be called the yoke,​4 from the same resemblance which led the Greeks to call it zygodes. But the lower jaw is a soft bone​5 and a single one, of which the chin forms the middle and lowest portion, whence it is continued on the two sides to the temples; and it alone is movable, for the cheek-bones with all that bone which produces the upper teeth are immobile. 8 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Now the ends of the lower jaw itself form, as it were, two horns. One process broader below tapers to its tip, and as it passes higher, goes under the zygoma, and is fastened to the temporal muscles above it. The other is shorter and more rounded off, and in that pit which is adjacent to the auditory passages, it is set in a sort of hinge, and as it bends there forwards backwards supplies the power of movement to the lower jaw.

9 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]The teeth are harder than bone, some are fixed in the lower jaw, some in the cheek-bones. Of the teeth, the four in front are named by the Greeks tomis6 because they cut. These are flanked at each side by four canine teeth. Behind these on either side is generally a set of four molars, except in those who  p481 have five​7 one tooth on each side coming through later. There are some in whom the four last, which generally come through late, do not make their appearance. 10 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Of these teeth the front ones are fixed by single roots, the molars at least by two, sometimes even by three or four; and generally the longer root produces the shorter teeth; the straight tooth has a straight root; a crooked tooth a crooked root. From the same root in children a new tooth grows which general pushes out the former one, but sometimes shows itself behind or in front of it.

11 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Now the spine is the support of the head. It is composed of twenty-four vertebrae, seven in the neck, twelve belonging to the ribs; the remaining five are below the ribs. The vertebrae are bones rounded off and short; from each side they thrust out a transverse process; they are perforated in the middle where the spinal marrow which is connected with the brain passes downwards, and at the sides also through the two transverse processes they are traversed by fine channels, through which little membranes pass down resembling the cerebral membrane; with the exception of the three highest all the vertebrae have slight depressions in their articular processes on the upper side, on the lower side other articular processes grow downwards. 12 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]The highest vertebra​8 is therefore the immediate support of the head, receiving its small processes into two depressions, and this enables the head to move up and down. The second vertebra​9 is made irregular by a protuberance and is attached to the lower side of the one above. To secure the rotation of the head the top of it ends in a narrower round process, so that the first vertebra  p483 encircling the top of this allows the head to turn sideways as well. After the same fashion the third vertebra supports the second, hence there is easy movement in the neck. 13 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]And the neck could not even hold up the head were it not supported on each side by straight and powerful sinews which the Greeks call τένοντες;​10 since whenever the head bends one of the sinews is always tense, and does not allow what is above to slip too far over. From the third vertebra in turn grow little protuberances which are inserted into the vertebra below; the remaining vertebrae are fastened into the ones below them by processes directed downwards and support the ones above them in the depression which they have on either side, and they are held together by many ligaments and cartilages. 14 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Thus by bending once in the required direction and avoiding moving in other directions man stands upright, or bends somewhat, to do anything that is required.

Below the neck the highest rib is placed on a level with the shoulders; after that there are six lower ribs, reaching as far as the bottom of the thorax; the ribs, which in their first part are rounded and end in small heads, as it were, are lightly fixed to the transverse processes of the vertebrae, which themselves have slight depressions; then the ribs flatten out and after curving outwards gradually degenerate into cartilage, and here, after again bending slightly inwards, they become united to the breast-bone. 15 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]This, a strong and hard bone, begins below the throat, is lunated on each side, and, when it becomes itself softened into cartilage, is bounded by the praecordia. Below the upper ribs, there are five called by the Greeks nothae; they are short, thinner, and after changing gradually into  p485 cartilage, they are embedded in the highest part of the abdomen. The lowest of these consists for the most part only of cartilage. Again, from the neck two wide bones extend to the shoulders on each side; we call them scutula operta, the Greeks omoplatae. 16 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]These bones are curved at their highest point, and below these they are triangular, and become gradually wider as they approach the spine. As they become wider, they become blunter.​11 And they too at the lowest part soften into cartilage at the back and float, as it were, since they are unconnected with any other bone except at the top, but there they held in place by very strong muscles and sinews. Now at the level of the first rib, and a little behind its middle, a bone​12 grows out which at first is slight but as it comes nearer the broad bone of the shoulder-blades becomes thicker and broader, and curves slightly outwards; and this at its other upper end is enlarged somewhat to support the root of the neck. 17 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]But this bone itself is curved, and must not be reckoned among the hardest or most solid, and it lies with one head fixed as just stated, the other in a small depression of the breast-bone; it moves a little with the movement of the arm, and is connected with the flat bone of the shoulder-blades by sinews and cartilage.

18 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]From this point begins the humerus, which at both ends is swollen out, and is there soft, without marrow and cartilaginous; in the middle cylindrical, hard, containing marrow; and slightly curved both forwards and outwards. Now its front part is that on the side of the chest, its back, that on the side of the shoulder-blades; its inner part that which faces the  p487 side, its outer away from the side. It will be clear in later chapters that this applies to all joints. 19 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Now the upper head of the humerus is more rounded than any other bone hitherto described and is inserted by a small excrescence into the top of the wide bone of the shoulder-blades, and the greater part of it is held fast by sinews outside its socket.

The humerus at its lower end has two processes, between which the bone is hollowed out even more than at its extremities. This furnishes a seat for the forearm, which consists of two bones. The radius, which the Greeks call cercis, is the uppermost and shorter; at its beginning it is thinner, with a round and slightly hollowed head which receives a small protuberance of the humerus; and it is kept in place there by sinews and cartilage. 20 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]The ulna is further back and longer and at first larger, and at its upper extremity is inserted by two outstanding prominences into the hollow of the humerus, which, as I said above, is between the two processes. At their upper ends the two bones of the forearm are bound together, then they gradually separate, to come together again at the wrist, but with an alteration in size; since there the radius is the larger whilst the ulna is quite small. Further, the radius as it enlarges into its cartilaginous extremity is hollowed out at its tip. The ulna is rounded at the extremity, and projects a little at one part. 21 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]And, to avoid repetition, it should not be over­looked that most bones turn into cartilage at their ends, and that all joints are bounded by it, for movement would be impossible unless apposition were smooth, nor could they be united with flesh and sinews unless some such intermediary material formed the connection.

 p489  Turning to the hand, the first part of the palm consists of many minute bones of which the number is uncertain, but all are oblong and triangular, and are connected together on some plan since the upper angle of one alternates with the base of another; therefore they appear like one bone which is slightly concave. 22 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Now two small bones project from the hand and are fitted into the hollow of the radius; and at the other end five straight bones directed towards the fingers complete the palm; from these spring the fingers themselves, each composed of three bones; and all are similarly formed. A lower bone is hollowed out at its top to admit a small protuberance from an upper bone, and sinews keep them in place; from them grow nails which become hard, and thus these adhere by their roots to flesh rather than to bone.

23 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]And such are the arrangements for the upper limbs. Now the bottom of the spine is fixed between the bone of the hips, which lies crosswise and is very strong and so protects the womb, bladder and rectum; and the bone bulges out externally, is bent up towards the spin, and on the sides that is, the hips proper, it has rounded hollows; and from these start the bone they call the comb,​13 situated crosswise above the intestines below the pubes, and this supports the belly; in men the bone is straight, in women more curved outwards so as not to hinder parturition.

24 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Next in order are the thigh-bones, the heads of which are even more globular than those of the arm-bones, although those are the most globular of the other bones; below there are two processes, one directed forward, the other backward; after this the bones are hard and marrowy and convex on the outer  p491 side, and they are again enlarged at their lower ends also. The upper ends are inserted into hollows of the hip-bones, as the arm-bones into the shoulder-bones; then these tend gently downwards and inwards in order that they may support the upper parts of the body more evenly. But the heads​14 at the lower end have a hollow in between, that the leg-bones may be more easily fixed into them. 25 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Their juncture is covered by a small, soft, cartilaginous bone, called the knee-cap. This bone, which floats freely and is not attached to any other bone, but held in place by flesh and sinews, is turned slightly towards the thigh-bone and protects the joint in all movements of the legs.

The leg itself is made up of two bones; for as the thigh-bone is throughout similar to the humerus, so is the leg like the forearm, hence the form and appearance of the one can be learnt from the other: and what holds good for the bones holds also for the soft parts. 26 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]One bone lies outside, and this too itself is called the calf.​15 It is the shorter, and is smaller in its upper part, but swells out just at the ankles. The other is placed more in front and is named tibia; it is the longer, and is larger at the upper end, and it alone joins with the lower head of the thigh-bone, as the ulna does with the humerus. These two bones, moreover, are joined together at the lower and upper ends, but in the middle as in the forearm they are separated. 27 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]The leg below is received by the transverse bone of the ankles, which itself is set upon the heel-bone; the heel-bone is hollowed out in one part, and has excrescences at another part, so that it receives the excrescences of the ankle and is received itself into the hollow of the ankle. The  p493 heel-bone is without marrow, is hard, and projects somewhat backwards where it presents a rounded outline. The other bones of feet are constructed in a similar way to the bones of the hand; the sole corresponds to the palm, digits to digits, nails to nails.16

2 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Now when any bone has been injured, it either becomes diseased or splits or is broken or perforated or crushed or displaced.

A diseased bone generally first becomes fatty, next either blackened or rotten; and this occurs in cases of severe ulceration or fistula, when these have become chronic or even gangrenous. And it is necessary in the first place to expose the diseased bone by cutting out the ulcer, and if the bone disease extends beyond the margins of the ulcer to cut away the flesh until sound bone is exposed all round. 2 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Then if the diseased bone appears merely fatty, it is enough to apply a cautery once or twice until a scale of Boeotian comes away; or to scrape it away until there is bleeding, which is a sign of sound bone; for diseased bone is necessarily dry. The same is also to be done for diseased cartilage; it too must be scraped away with a scalpel until what remains is sound. Then, whether bone or cartilage has been scraped, finely powdered soda must be dusted on; and nothing different is to be done when the surface of the bone is black or carious, except that the treatment by cautery or scraping must be continued for a longer time. 3 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]In these cases if the surgeon scrapes he should press boldly upon the instrument that he may effect more and finish sooner. The end is when white or hard bone is reached. White bone instead of black, or hard  p495 bone instead of carious clearly indicates the end of the diseased part. I have already stated that sound bone also bleeds to some extent.

But if in either case it is doubtful how deep the disease has reached, in the case of carious bone, this is readily ascertained. A fine probe is introduced into the hole, and according as it enters to a less or greater extent, it shows either that the caries is superficial or that it has penetrated more deeply, 4 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]With black bone it is possible to form some opinion also from the pain and fever; when these are moderate in degree, the disease cannot have penetrated deeply. This becomes more obvious, however, when a trepan is used; for the limit of disease is reached when the bone dust ceases to be black.

Therefore, if caries has penetrated deeply, by means of the trepan holes are bored in the bone at frequent intervals, equal in depth to the extent of the disease; next cautery points are passed into these holes, until the bone becomes entirely dry. For after such applications, simultaneously the diseased part separates off from the bone underneath, and the cavity will make flesh, and no humour or very little will be subsequently discharged.

5 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]If on the other hand the disease, whether blackness or caries, has extended to the other side of the bone as well, excision is required; and the same can be done when caries has penetrated right through a bone. But whatever is wholly diseased is to be wholly removed; if the lower part is sound, only that which is corrupt should be excised. Further, if there is caries of the skull or breast-bone or rib, the cautery is useless, and excision is necessary. Nor are we to listen to those who await the third  p497 day after the bone has been laid bare before excising; for all cases are treated more safely before the inflammatory reaction. Therefore, whenever possible at the same sitting, the skin is to be incised, and the bone exposed, and freed from all that is diseased. And much the most dangerous case is in the breast-bone, for even if the operation has been successful, complete healing scarcely ever results.

3 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Now bone is excised in two ways; if the damaged part is very small, with the modiolus, which the Greeks call χοινεικίς;​17 if more extensive by means of trepans. I will describe the use of both. The modiolus is a hollow cylindrical iron instrument with its lower edges serrated; in the middle of which is fixed a pin which is itself surrounded by an inner disc. The trepans are of two kinds; one like that used by smiths, the other longer in the blade, which begins in a sharp point, suddenly becomes larger, and again towards the other end becomes even smaller than just above the point. 2 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]When the disease is so limited that the modiolus can include it, this is more serviceable; and if the bone is carious, the central pin is inserted into the hole; if there is black bone, a small pit is made with the angle of a chisel for the reception of the pin, so that, the pin being fixed, the modiolus when rotated cannot slip; it is then rotated like a trepan by means of a strap. The pressure must be such that it both bores and rotates; for if pressed lightly it makes little advance, if heavily it does not rotate. 3 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]It is a good plan to drop in a little rose oil or milk, so that it may rotate more smoothly; but if too much is used the keenness of  p499 the instrument is blunted. When a way has been cut by the modiolus, the central pin is taken out, and the modiolus worked by itself; then, when the bone dust shows that underlying bone is sound, the modiolus is laid aside. But if disease is too extensive for the modiolus to cover, the operation must be carried out by the trepan. 4 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]With this a hole is made exactly at the margin of the diseased and sound bone, then not very far off a second, and a third, until the whole area to be excised is ringed round by these holes; and here also the bone dust shows how deep the trepan is to go. Next the excising chisel is driven through from one hole to the other by striking it with a mallet, and cuts out the intervening bone, and so a ring is made like the smaller one cut by the modiolus. 5 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]And in whichever way the circle has been made, the same excising chisel should cut away from the corrupted bone every scale-like layer until sound bone is left. Black bone hardly ever penetrates the whole thickness of the bone, but caries sometimes does so, and especially when the cranium is diseased. A test of this is also made by means of the probe, which when inserted into a cavity which has solid bone underneath finds some resistance because of this and is wet when it comes up. 6 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]If it finds a clear way, as it goes deeper between bone and membrane, it encounters no resistance and comes up dry; not because there is no harmful sanies within, but because this is spread over a wider area. If bone is diseased right through, whether it be black bone exposed by the trepan, or caries discovered by a probe, the use of the modiolus is generally out of place, because what goes down so deep must be more widely opened up.  p501 7 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Then the trepan which I described second is to be used; and in order that it may not get too hot, it should be dipped repeatedly in cold water. But particular care must be taken when we have bored half through a bone consisting of a single layer,​18 or through the upper layer of a bone of two layers; in the former the actual distance bored, in the latter the appearance of blood is the indication. Therefore the strap is then worked more gently and the left hand held up and moved away more often, and the depth of the borehole is to be examined in order that we may perceive just when the bone is being broken through anywhere, and not run the risk of injuring the cerebral membrane by the point; which causes severe inflammation with danger of death. 8 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]When boreholes have been made, the intervening partitions are to be excised in the same way but much more carefully, lest the corner of the chisel injure the aforesaid membrane; until a sufficient opening has been made to insert a guard of the membrane which the Greeks call meningophylax.​19 This consists of a plate of bronze, its end slightly concave, smooth on the outer side; this is so inserted that the smooth side is next the brain, and is gradually pushed in under the part where the bone is being cut through by the chisel; and if it is knocked by the corner of the chisel it stops the chisel going further in; 9 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]and so the surgeon goes on striking the chisel with the mallet more boldly and more safely, until the bone, having been divided all round, is lifted by the same plate, and can be removed without any injury to the brain. When all this bone has been removed, the margins of the opening must be filed down  p503 smooth, and if any bone dust is sticking to the membrane it is to be removed. When the outer table has been removed, and the inner table left, it is not only the margins but also all the bone​20 which is to be smoothed down, in order that skin may grow over it subsequently without harm; for when it grows over rough bone there is never sound healing, but it causes new pains. 10 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]What is to be done when the brain is exposed, I will describe when I come to fractures.​21 If some of the inner table has been preserved, medicaments which are not greasy, such as are fitted for recent wounds, are to be applied, and over that, unscoured wool soaked in oil and vinegar. In course of time flesh grows up from the bone and fills up the hollow made by the surgery. Also if any bone has been cauterized it separates from the healthy part, and between the sound and dead bone granulations form to throw off what has separated; and this is usually a thin and small splinter, which the Greeks call a scale.22

11 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]It may possibly even happen as the result of an injury, that bone, although neither fissured nor fractured, yet has its surface indented and roughened; when this happens scraping and smoothing suffice. These conditions, although mostly occurring in the head, are found also in the other bones, so that whenever the same thing happens the same procedure is to be followed. But for bones which are fractured, fissured, perforated or crushed, some special treatment is required, suited for particular cases, and some general measures which apply to the majority; of these I will proceed to treat, beginning with the said cranium.

4 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Therefore after a blow on the head first we  p505 must enquire whether the patient has had bilious vomiting, whether there has been obscurity of vision, whether he has become speechless, whether he has had bleeding from the nose or ears, whether he fell to the ground, whether he has lain senseless as if asleep; for such signs do not occur unless with fractured bone; and when they are present, we must recognize that treatment is necessary but difficult. If in addition there is also stupor, if the mind wanders, if either paralysis or spasm has followed, it is probable that the cerebral membrane has also been lacerated; and then there is little hope. 2 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]But if none of these signs follows the injury, it is not even certain whether the bone is broken: and the first thing then to consider is whether he was struck by a stone or club or sword or other such weapon, and whether such a weapon was blunt or pointed, medium or heavy, used with much or little force; for the lighter the blow, the more easily we may conclude that the bone has resisted it. But the best plan is to make certain by exploration. Accordingly a probe should be introduced into the wound; it should be neither very fine nor pointed, lest it enter one of the natural sutures and give rise to a false belief in a fracture of bone; neither should it be too thick lest small fissures be missed. 3 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]When the probe comes into contact with the bone, if nothing but what is smooth and slippery is met with, it can be seen that the bone is intact; if any roughness is met with, at least where there are no sutures, it is a sign that the bone is fractured. Hippocrates,​23 with great men's love of truth in great matters, has described how he had  p507 been deceived by sutures. 4 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]For shallow minds, because they have nothing, never belittle themselves; such a sincere confession of the truth befits a great mind which will still have many titles to greatness, and especially in performing the task of handing down knowledge for the advantage of posterity, that no one else may be deceived again by what has deceived him. But my regard for the memory of a great teacher has somehow led me into this digression. 5 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Now a suture may possibly deceive just because it is rough too; so that although there is really a fissure, yet we may take it to be a suture, where it is likely that there is one. Therefore we must not be deceived just by this; the safest way is to lay bare the bone. For as I have stated above,​24 sutures are not always in the same position, and a natural union of bone and a fissure from injury may coincide, or the fissure may be close by. 6 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Therefore sometimes when the blow was severe, although nothing is detected by the probe, it is still best to open the place up. And if even then no fissure is visible, ink​25 is to be applied over the bone, then it is to be scraped with a chisel; for a fissure will retain the blackness. It may even happen that the blow may have been upon one part of the head, and fracture at another. Thus if anyone has been heavily struck and bad signs have followed, and no fissure has been found in the part where the scalp has been wounded, it is worth while to examine whether some other part is softer and swollen, and to lay it open; then perhaps fissured bone may be found there. 7 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Even if it be uselessly incised, the scalp heals without much trouble. A fractured bone unless it is treated causes severe inflammations,  p509 and is treated afterwards with greater difficulty. Rarely, but now and then, it happens, however, that whilst the bone remains whole and sound, yet within the skull a blood-vessel in the cerebral membrane has been ruptured by the blow and some blood has escaped, and this having formed a clot, causes great pains, or sometimes obscures vision. But generally the pain is directly over the clot, and when the scalp at that point is incised, the bone is found to be pallid; if so, that bone also is to be cut out.

8 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]But for whatever cause this treatment is necessary, if the scalp has not been laid open sufficiently, it must be incised more widely until the injury is well in view. In doing so we must see that none of the fine inner membrane covering the skull, under the scalp, remains over the bone; for whenever this is lacerated by the chisel or trepan it causes severe fevers with inflammations, and so it is better to raise it wholly off the bone. 9 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]If there is a cut as part of the wound we must take it as it is; if we have to make it, the best incision is generally that which is formed by two lines in the shape of the letter X; next the scalp is raised by cutting under each of the little tongues. When doing this if bleeding takes place it must be checked by the application of a sponge saturated with vinegar from time to time, also it must be absorbed by swabs of dry lint and the head must be raised higher. There need be no anxiety unless it comes from among the muscles covering the temples; but there also this is the safest method of dealing with it.

10 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]In every case of a fissured or fractured bone, the older practitioners resorted at once to the instruments for cutting out the fragments. But it is much  p511 better first to try the plasters which are prepared for the cranium. One of these dissolved in vinegar is to be put upon the fissured or fractured bone by itself; next over this, a little overlapping the wound, lint steeped in the same, and over this unscoured wool sprinkled with vinegar; then the wound is bandaged and the dressing changed daily, and so treated up to the fifth day; 11 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]on the sixth day also the wound is steamed by means of a sponge, then dressed as before. And if granulation begins, and the feverishness either subsides or lessens, and appetite returns, and there is sufficient sleep, we should persevere with the same applications. Next as time goes on, the plaster is to be softened by the addition of the cerate made with rose oil that it may cause the flesh to grow more readily; for by itself it has a repressant action. 12 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Under this treatment fissures are often filled up by some callus which forms a sort of scab in the bone; and if the fragments are more widely separated, any that are not in contact also become fastened together by the same callus, and this is a better covering for the brain than the flesh which grows up after the bone has been excised. But if under this first treatment fever becomes intensified and sleep short and disturbed by dreams, while the wound discharges and does not heal, and the glands in the neck on each side swell, and there is great pain, and in addition a growing aversion to food, then at length we must resort to surgery with the chisel.

13 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]A blow on the cranium involves two dangers; either a split bone or a depressed fracture. If the bone is split, the edges may remain in close contact, either because one margin overrides the other, of  p513 because they have become closely interlocked again. Hence it follows that humour collects on to the cerebral membrane but has no means of exit, and so irritates it, exciting severe inflammation. But when there is a depressed fracture, the bone presses on the cerebral membrane and sometimes also sharp points like needles from the fractured bone cause irritation. 14 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Cases like this require assistance, with as little loss of bone as possible. Therefore if one edge overlies the other, it is sufficient to cut away the overlying edge with a flat chisel; when this is removed a gap is left wide enough for treatment. But when the fractured edges have become interlocked, a hole should be made with a trepan at a finger's breadth to one side; and from this two cuts should be made with the chisel to the fissure, in the form of the letter V, with the apex at the hole and the base at the fissure; 15 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]but if the fissure is a lone one, similar curs should be made from a second hole. And thus there is no concealed cavity in that bone, and a way out is given freely to all harmful material within. Even when the fractured bone is depressed, it need not all be excised. But whether completely broken off and separated from the rest, or still attached by a small portion to the skull around, the fragment should be separated by the chisel from the sound bone. 16 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Next, in the depressed fragment, close to the groove which we have just made, holes are to be bored as well; two when the damage is of small extent, three when larger, and the intervening partitions must be cut through. Next the chisel is to be so used on each side of the said groove, that a crescent-shaped gap is made with its convexity on the side of the fragment, and its horns directed  p515 towards the intact bone. Then if there are any detached fragments which can be easily removed, they are to be seized with forceps made for the purpose and particularly the pointed fragments which are irritating the membrane. 17 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]If this cannot be done easily, the plate which I have suggested as a guard of this membrane is to be passed underneath​26 in order that all pointed fragments which project inwards may be cut away over the plate, and any depressed bone is to be raised by means of the same plate. This method of treatment ensures that fragments still attached become consolidated; and detached fragments come away in course of time under the dressing without any pain; and by that treatment there is left a gap in the skull large enough for the extraction of matter; and the brain is better protected by leaving the bone than if it had been excised. 18 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]After this, that membrane should be sprinkled with strong vinegar, in order that any bleeding from it may be checked, or any collection of clot which remains inside may be broken up. Then the same plaster, softened as described above, should be put on the membrane itself; and the rest of the dressing as before, ointment on the lint, and unscoured wool; the patient should be kept in a warm room; the wound dressed daily, even twice a day in summer.

19 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]But if the membrane​27 swells up through inflammation, it is to be bathed with tepid rose oil; if it swells so as to project even above the level of the skull, well-ground lentils or crushed vine leaves, mixed either with fresh butter or goose-grease, will control it; and the neck should be anointed with liquid cerate containing iris oil. But if it shall appear  p517 that the membrane is not clean, equal parts of its special medicament and of honey are to be mixed together and poured on, and to keep this in place one or two pads of lint must be put on, and over all linen upon which some of the medicament has been smeared. When the membrane is clean, a cerate to form flesh is to be added to the medicament and similarly applied.

20 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]As regards abstinence and the food and drink at first and later, the same course is to be adopted as I prescribed for wounds,​28 and all the more because the danger is greater when this part is affected. And even when the time has come not only to sustain but also to build up the patient, still anything requiring mastication should be avoided; and also smoke and anything which provokes sneezing. But there is good hope when the membrane is movable and of normal colour, when the flesh growing up is a brit red, and when the jaw and neck move with ease. 21 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Bad signs are: the membrane immobile, black or livid or any other unwholesome colour; delirium, acrid vomiting, paralysis or spasm livid flesh, rigor of jaw and neck. As for other signs — sleep, appetite, fever, colour of the pus — the indications as to recovery or death are the same as in the case of other wounds. When things are going well, flesh grows up from the membrane itself and from the bone as well if it is in two layers, so that the space between the bones becomes filled up; sometimes it even grows out above the skull. 22 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]If this occurs copper scales are to be dusted on in order to repress and control it. Also applications to induce a scar must be laid on the flesh. And this is readily brought about everywhere except on the forehead a little above the eyebrows;29  p519 for there it is almost impossible to avoid a lifelong wound which has to be kept covered by medicated lint. It should be the rule for all cases in which the skull has been fractured, that until the scar is firm, the patient should avoid sun, wind, frequent baths, and the free use of wine.

5 130 In the nostrils again either the bony or cartilaginous part may be broken, and that either in front, or to one side. If both are broken across, or one of them, the nose sinks in and the breath is drawn through with difficulty; if bone on one side is broken, there is a depression; if cartilage, the nose is bent to the opposite side.

Whatever occurs in the case of the cartilage, it must be gently raised either by passing a probe under it or by compressing with a finger on each side; then a roll of folded linen with thin leather sewn on over it is introduced; or some sort of dry pad similarly shaped; or a large quill smeared with gum or joiner's glue, and wrapped round with soft thin leather, which will prevent the cartilage from sinking in again. 2 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] But if broken across, both nostrils are to be filled equally; if on one side, the nostril on the side to which the nose is bent should be filled with a thicker roll, the other nostril with a thinner one. Outside also a strap of soft leather, the middle smeared with a mixture of fine flour and incense soot, is applied, and it must be carried back behind the ears and fastened to the forehead by its two ends.​31 The flour and incense when dried sticks to the skin like glue and keeps the nose in place. 3 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]If what has been inserted causes  p521 irritation, as happens mostly when the septal cartilage inside is fractured, the nostrils are to be raised and kept in place by the strip of leather alone; then this too is removed at the end of a fortnight after loosening with warm water, and afterwards every day the nose should be fomented with the same.

But if the bone is broken, this also is put back into position by the finger; and when the injury is in front, both nostrils are plugged; 4 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]when on one side, the nostril on the side towards which the bone has been displaced. Cerate is to be applied, and the part bound fairly tightly, because in this position callus grows not only sufficiently to cause union, but even into a tumour. From the third day the nose is to be fomented with hot water, more especially as it begins to unite. Even if there are several fragments, each is to be forced into place by the fingers applied outside, and the strip in the same way is to be put on outside, and a cerate over it, and no additional bandage. 5 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]But if any fragment has become completely separated and will not unite with the rest, this will be recognized by the fluid which is discharged freely from the lesion; then the fragment should be extracted by means of a forceps; when the inflammatory reaction is at an end, some medicament from among the mild repressants is applied.

6 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]The case is worse when there is an external wound as well as a fracture, whether of bone or cartilage. This only occurs rarely. If it does happen, the fragments are to be replaced into position in the same way, while the skin is dressed with one of the plasters suitable for recent wounds; but no bandage must be put over it.

 p523  6 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] In the ear​32 also the cartilage is sometimes ruptured. If this happens, before suppuration has supervened, an agglutinating medicament should be put on; for this often prevents suppuration, and cures the ear. As in the case of the nose, it must not be over­looked that the cartilage itself does not agglutinate, but flesh grows round it and so the place becomes consolidated. Hence, if the skin is torn along with rupture of the cartilage, the skin on both sides is to be stitched. 2 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]But I speak now of a case where the cartilage is broken, but the skin intact. Now in that case if suppuration supervenes, the skin on the other side is to be laid open and a crescent-shaped piece of cartilage cut out beneath;​33 then a mild styptic such as lycium dissolved in water is put on until bleeding ceases; next lint smeared with a plaster without any grease is applied and soft wool to fill the space between the ear and the head; then the ear is lightly bandaged, and from the third day the ear is steamed as in the case of the nose (5.4). In these kinds of injuries also fasting is necessary at first until inflammation has ceased.

7 134 As I am going to pass on from the above to the lower jaw I think I ought to point out certain matters pertaining to fractures so as not to have to say the same things too often. Any bone, then, may be split, either in a straight line as a log of wood is cleft lengthwise, or across, sometimes obliquely; and in the latter case, the fractured ends are sometimes blunted, sometimes pointed. The last is the  p525 worst because two ends are not brought together easily when they have nothing blunt to rest against, and they lacerate the flesh, sometimes also sinews and muscles; indeed sometimes there are several fragments. 2 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Now in other bones one fragment often separates from another completely; but in the case of the jaw the pieces of bone even when injured are always in contact with one another at some point. Begin then by applying pressure with the two thumbs in the mouth and two fingers on the skin outside, and force all the fragments into position; next, if the lower jaw has been broken across, in which case generally one tooth stands higher than its neighbour, when it has been put back into position tie together with horsehair the two adjacent teeth, or if these are loose, teeth further away. 3 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]In other varieties of this fracture, the binding is superfluous, but what follows is the same for all: a double fold of linen soaked in wine and oil is to be put on, smeared with fine flour and incense as before;​35 then over this a bandage or strip of soft leather has a slit made in the middle to enclose the chin on each side and thence the ends are carried to the top of the head and tied there. 4 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]What follows applies to fractures in general: fasting is a necessity at first; then from the third day a fluid diet, and when the inflammation has subsided a somewhat fuller diet to build up the strength; wine is wrong throughout; then on the third day the bandage is removed, and the part fomented with steam by means of a sponge, and the bandage reapplied as before; the same thing is to be done again on the fifth day and so on until the inflammation has ceased, which is generally by the ninth or the seventh day. 5 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]The inflammation gone,  p527 the bones must be examined again, and if the fractured ends are not in place, they are reset; after which the bandaging should not be dispensed with until two-thirds of the time has elapsed which such bones take to unite. Bones generally reunite as follows: between the fourteenth and twenty-first days the lower jaw, cheek-bones, clavicle, sternum, blade-bones, ribs, spine, hip-bone, astragalus, heel-bone, and the bones of the hands and feet; between the twentieth and thirtieth days the bones of the leg and forearm; between the twenty-seventh and fortieth days the upper arm and thigh. But in the case of the lower jaw, there is this addition, that fluid food has to be taken for a longer period. 6 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]And even after time has elapsed the patient must continue to eat pancakes and such-like, and must not eat anything hard until the formation of callus has rendered the lower jaw quite firm; also, at any rate for the first days, the patient should not speak.

8 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Now if the clavicle​36 has been broken across, it sometimes unites correctly by itself, and unless moved can be cured without being bandaged; but sometimes, and especially when it has been moved, it slips out of place. And generally the fragment on the side of the breast is bent forwards, that on the side of the shoulder backwards. The reason is that the bone has no independent movement, but moves with the shoulder, while the part attached to the breast is immovable; therefore while this remains stationary, the shoulder-fragment is displaced below it by the movement of the shoulder. But so seldom does the clavicle​37 incline forwards that great teachers have recorded that they have  p529 never seen it. bHowever, the authority of Hippocrates​38 is ample on this matter. But as the two cases are different, so they require different treatment. When the clavicle points towards the blade-bones, the shoulder is to be forced backwards with the palm of the right hand, and simultaneously the clavicle must be brought forwards. When the clavicle has been turned towards the chest it must be directed backwards, and the shoulder is to be drawn forwards, and if the shoulder is lower, the breast-fragment is not to be pressed down, for it is immobile, but the shoulder must be raised. cAnd if the shoulder is higher the breast-fragment is to be covered with wool, and the arm​39 bandaged to the chest. If the fragments have pointed ends, the skin over them should be incised, and the splinter which are injuring the flesh cut off from the bones, after which the blunted ends are to be brought together. If any part of the clavicle projects it should be covered with three layers of linen soaked in wine and oil. If the fragments are numerous, they must be fixed with a gutter-splint​40 made of cane smeared on its inner side with cerate so that it does not slip under the bandage. dThe turns of the bandage when the clavicle is fixed should be many, rather than tight, and this should be the rule in the case of other fractured bones. If the right clavicle is fractured, the bandage must be carried from it to the left armpit, if the left clavicle, to the right armpit, then back under the armpit of the fractured side. After this, if the clavicle is inclined towards the shoulder-blade, the forearm is bandaged to the side; if it points forwards, the forearm is bandaged to the neck and the patient kept on his back. All the rest of  p531 the treatment is the same that was described above.41

2 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]But there are several bones almost immobile whether hard or cartilaginous, which cn be either fractured or bored into or crushed or split; such are the cheek-bones, breast-bone, shoulder-blade, ribs, spine, hip, ankle-bones, heel-bone, bones of the palm and sole. bAll these are treated in a similar way. If there is a wound over the fracture, it is to be dressed with the appropriate medicaments; as the wound heals callus also fills fissures in the bone or any perforation. If the skin is intact and we gather from the pain that the bone is injured, there is nothing else to do but to rest, apply a cerate and a light bandage until the pain is ended by the healing of the bone.

9 142 There is, however, something special to be said of the rib, because it is near the viscera, and that region is exposed to greater danger. A rib then is sometimes split so as not to injure the upper bone, but only the thin structure on its inner side; sometimes it is completely broken across. If the fracture is incomplete, blood is not expectorated, and fever does not follow, nor is there suppuration except very rarely, nor great pain; nevertheless there is some tenderness to touch, bbut it is quite enough to do what has been described above,​43 and to begin the bandaging from the middle of the bandage that it may not displace the skin to either side. Then after twenty-one days, by which time the bone ought to have formed a firm union, a fuller diet is to be administered in order to fatten the body as much as possible, so as to cover the bone better, for the bone there whilst still tender is  p533 liable to injury owing to the thinness of the skin. cBut during the whole course of recovery the patient must avoid shouting or even straining the voice, noise, anger, violent bodily movements, smoke, dust, and anything that causes a cough or sneeze; it is not even advisable to hold the breath for long. But if a rib has been broken right across the case is more severe; for grave inflammations follow and fever and suppuration and often danger to life: and blood is expectorated. dIf therefore the strength allows, blood should be let from the arm on the side of the injury; if strength does not allow of this the trouble is, however, to be countered by a clyster that will not irritate, and by a low diet for a long while. Bread is not allowed before the seventh day, but only broth; and locally a cerate is to be applied made of linseed, to which boiled resin is added; or the poultice of Polyarchus,​44 or cloths soaked in wine, rose oil and olive oil; and over that oft undressed wool then two bandages beginning from the middle and loosely bound on. eBut it is more important to avoid all the things mentioned above, so much so that even breathing should not be hurried. If cough is persistent, a draught of germander or rue or French lavender​45 or of cumin and pepper should be taken. But if more severe pain comes on a plaster of darnel or of barley meal is also to be applied, to which is added a third of a ripe first and this will lie upon the place by day; but at night, as the plaster may become displaced, use the same cerate or poultice or cloths as above. fTherefore too the dressing must be taken off every day until we find the cerate or poultice sufficient.  p535 And for ten days the patient may be thinned down by hunger, from the eleventh day he may begin nourishing food; and with that the bandages may be applied round even more loosely than at first; and generally this treatment will continue till the fortieth day. But if there is danger of suppuration, the poultice will be more likely to disperse it than the cerate. gIf the suppuration gains way, and the treatment above described fails to disperse it, there must be no delay lest the bone underneath become diseased; but where there is most swelling, the red-hot cautery is to be applied until it reaches pus; and that is to be let out. When no pointing of the swelling is evident, we may learn where the pus is chiefly deposited as follows. We smear the whole region with pipe-clay and allow it to dry; the spot where it remains moist the longest marks the neighbourhood of the pus, and there the cautery should be applied. hIf the suppuration is widely spread, two or three places must be perforated by the cautery. We should then introduce a strip of linen, or some kind of tent​46 bound round with a thread so that it can be easily withdrawn. The rest of the treatment is as in other cauterizations. When the ulceration has cleaned, then the patient should be well fed, lest this disease be followed by what may become fatal wasting. Sometimes even when the bone has been only slightly affected but neglected at first, not pus but a humour somewhat like mucus collects within, and there is a softening under the skin; here also the cauter is to be used.

2 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]About the spine there is also something special to note.​47 For if a spinal process has in any way been fractured, there is a depression at that spot, also  p537 pricking pains are felt in it, because such fragments are necessarily spiky; this consequently makes the patient lean forwards. These are the signs of the condition; but the same medicaments are required as have been mentioned in the early part of this chapter.48

10 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Similar again in great part are accidents to the upper arm and thigh and their treatment;​49 there are also some points common to the arms, forearms, thighs, legs and digits, since there is least danger when the middle of the bone is fractured. The nearer the fracture is to either the upper or the lower end the worse it is; for they are at once more painful and more difficult to treat. The least troublesome is the simple transverse fracture; the multiple and the oblique are worse; the worst are those where the fragments are pointed. bNow sometimes the fractured bones in these cases remain in their places; but much more often they slip out and overlap each other; this is the first question to be decided, and the signs are unmistakable. If the fragments are in contact, they make a sound when moved and produce a stabbing sensation; they are not level to the touch. But if they are in touch not directly but obliquely, which happens when the fragments are not in their place, that limb will be shorter than the other, and its muscles swell up. cTherefore if this has been noted, the limb ought to be stretched at once; for the sinews and muscles which the bones keep on the stretch are contracted, and do not come into their proper place unless someone forces them into position. Moreover if this is not done at first, inflammation sets in; during which it is both difficult and dangerous to employ force to  p539 the sinews; for either spasm or gangrene follows, or, even if the case goes very favourably, suppuration. Therefore if the fragments have not been replaced before the inflammation, this must be done after. dNow a finger or any other limb that is still supple can be stretched by one man alone, when he takes one end with his right, the other with his left hand: a stronger limb requires two men to pull in opposite directions. If the sinews are more resistant, as in powerful men, especially in their thighs and legs, leather straps or linen bands are to be put round each end of the joints, and pulled in opposite directions by several persons. eWhen by force the limb has been made a little longer than it should be, then at length the bones must be pushed back into their place by the hands. A sign of the replacement is that the pain disappears, and the limb becomes equal to the other. Then cloths folded over two or three times and dipped in both wine and oil are wrapped round the part, and it is best for these to be of linen. Generally six bandages are needed. The first, a very short one, is to make three turns over the fracture in the form of a spiral carried upwards; three such turns are sufficient. fThe second bandage, half as long again, should begin over any projection if there is one; if the bone is quite smooth, it may begin anywhere over the fracture, in an opposite direction to the first bandage, and go downwards, then back over the fracture to end above the first bandage. Over these two bandages is spread a cerate on a broader layer of lint in order to hold the bandages in place; and if at any point bone projects, a triple layer of wool, soaked in wine and oil, is put over it. gThe foregoing are surrounded by  p541 a third bandage, and then by a fourth, the turns always following a direction the reverse of the bandage underneath. The third bandage ends below, the other three​50 above the fracture. It is better to make the turns of the bandage numerous rather than tight, for a part which is constricted is damaged and disposed to gangrene; now a joint should be bandaged as little as possible, but this is necessary if the bone is fractured close to it. hThe limb should be kept bandaged until the third day: and it ought to be so bandaged that on the first day, whilst it does not hurt, yet it should not seem to be slack; on the second day it should be slacker, and on the third almost loose. Then the limb must be bandaged again, and a fifth bandage added to the others; on the fifth day the bandaging should be undone, and the limb wrapped in six bandages, put on so that the third and fifth bandages finish below, the others ending above. And, whenever the limb is uncovered, it is to be fomented with hot water. iBut if the fracture is near a joint, from time to time wine with the addition of a little oil is to be dropped into it, and the same treatment is continued until the inflammation has subsided or the limb has become even a little smaller than ordinary. This occurs by the seventh, or certainly by the ninth day; then the bones are easily manipulated. Therefore if not yet in place, they should be put back; if any fragments project, they must be pushed back into position; kthen the limb is to be bandaged as before, and over the fracture splints are arranged above so as to hold the fragments firmly in position; and the broader and stronger split is put on the side to which the fractured ends tend to deviate. All these  p543 splints should all be bent opposite to a joint so as not to injure it, and they should not press more than is requisite to hold the fragments in place; and since after a while they become loose, every third day the straps keeping them in place are tightened; if there is no itching, or pain, they are kept on for two-thirds of the time which it takes for such a fractured bone to unite;​51 after that the part is fomented lightly with hot water, for the diseased matter must be first dissolved, than extracted. For this reason there should also be gentle inunction with liquid cerate, and superficial rubbing; and the bandaging should be looser. Every third day this bandage is removed, and omitting the hot fomentations, the same treatment is carried out, such that at each change there is one bandage less.

2 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]The foregoing treatment is general, the following applies to particular fractures. If the upper arm​52 is fractured, extension is not made as in other limbs, but the patient is seated on a high stool, whilst the surgeon faces him on a lower one. One bandage about the patient's neck is to serve as a sling to support the forearm; another is looped under the armpit​53 and is knotted over the head; a third surrounding the lower end of the humerus is carried down and has its ends tied together below. bThen an assistant behind the patient stretches out his right forearm through the second loop, if it is the patient's right humerus which is to be extended, his left if it is the left, and grasps a stick placed upright between the patient's thighs. At the same time the surgeon puts his right foot in the third loop I have described, if the left arm is being  p545 treated, his left foot if the right. And at the same time the assistant lifts one loop up while the surgeon presses the other down, the result being that the humerus is gently extended. cNow the bandages, if the middle or lower part of the bone is broken, are shorter, but longer for the upper part, so that they may stretch thence under the opposite armpit too, over the chest and blade-bones. And they . . .​54 But from the first the forearm during the bandaging must be flexed thus, and, since it must be put so even before the bandaging, this ensures that it cannot later, when in the sling, bend the upper arm from the position in which it was while being bandaged. And when the forearm is in a sling, the upper arm too is to be loosely bandaged to the side; this causes is to be moved as little as possible, and so the bones keep in the position in which they have been set. dWhen it is the time for applying the splints, the longest should be placed externally, shorter ones over the biceps in front, the shortest under the armpit. And when the fracture is near the elbow joint, the bandage must be taken off more frequently, or the sinews will become fixed, and the forearm rendered useless. Whenever the bandages are removed, the site of the fracture should be held by the hand, the elbow fomented with warm water, and rubbed with liquid cerate. The splints should not be applied at all over the bony points of the elbow, or should be somewhat shorter.

3 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]And if the forearm​55 is fractured, the first thing to consider is whether one or both bones are broken; not that a different treatment is to be adopted, but  p547 first in order that there should be more forcible extension if both bones are fractured, because the tendons necessarily contract less when one bone is unbroken and keeps them on the stretch, secondly that greater care may be taken in setting the bones when the fellow bone affords no aid; bfor when one bone is intact, it is of more assistance to the other which is fractured than are bandages and splints. Now when applying the bandage to the forearm the thumb should be turned somewhat towards the chest, for this is the most natural position for the forearm; and after applying the bandage to the forearm it is most comfortable placed in a sling, the broader part of which encloses the forearm, whilst its tapering ends are knotted around the neck. And thus the forearm is comfortably slung from the neck, and it should hang a little above the level of the opposite elbow.

4 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]. . . But if there is any fracture at the top of the ulna,​56 fixation by a bandage is wrong, for it renders the forearm immobile. And if nothing is done except for the relief of pain, the limb will become as useful as before.

5 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]In the case of the leg​57 it is equally important that one bone at least should be sound. One thing is common to fractures of leg and thigh, that after being bandaged the limb is laid in a gutter-splint. This splint should have two holes near the lower end, by which any fluid that has formed may run off; and there should be a stay for the sole of the foot both to support it and stop it from slipping backwards; and at the sides are slots so that when straps are passed through these, a kind of stay holds the leg and thigh as they have been set. bIf the leg is fractured, the splint should start from the sole; if the  p549 thigh, from about the ham up to the hip; if the fracture is near the head of the thigh, the hip should be included as well. It must not be over­looked, however, that if the thigh-bone is fractured it becomes shorter, for it never returns to its former state, and that afterwards the patient treads on the tips of the toes of that leg; but the disablement is much uglier when neglect is added to misfortune.

6 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]For a finger, it is enough to bandage it to a single strip of wood when the inflammation is over.

7 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]While these instructions are for individual bones, the following are general for all. For the first days fasting; next a more liberal diet as soon as the callus should be forming; abstinence from wine for a long time; free fomentation with hot water while there is inflammation; more sparing when it has subsided, then long continued but gentle inunction with liquid cerate, for the extremities of the fractured limb. And the limb should not be exercised too soon but brought back to its former use gradually.

bThe case is rather more grave, when there is a flesh wound as well as a fracture, and especially when muscles of the thigh and upper arm are involved: for they are liable to more severe inflammations and also have a greater tendency to gangrene. And in the case of the thigh-bone, if the fragments have separated from one another, amputation is generally necessary. The upper arm also is liable to this danger, but is more easily preserved. And these dangers are greater if the fracture is close to joints. cWe must therefore act with greater caution, and the muscle crossing the wound should be cut through. If there has been little haemorrhage, blood should be let; the patient  p551 must be made thin by a low diet. In all other limbs there must be gradual extension and a rather gentle replacement of the bones in position; but in these​58 it is inexpedient to stretch the sinews; nor should the bones be handled; and the patient is to be allowed the posture he finds least painful. dNow upon all wounds of this kind there is to be applied first lint soaked in wine to which a little rose oil has been added; the other remedies are as before. The bandages​59 should be somewhat wider than the wound, slacker perhaps than if there is no wound; the more easily a wound can be harmed, and attacked by gangrene, the less tightly it should be bandaged. Rather by having a number of bandages we must arrange that, although loose, they afford equal support. eThis will be the treatment for the thigh-bone or upper arm if the fragments are in good line; but if they are not so, the bandaging is applied only so far as to keep the medicaments in place. The rest of the treatment is the same as described before​60 except that no cane nor gutter-splints are put on, under which it is impossible for a wound to heal, but only plenty of wide bandages, which likewise are kept well soaked with warm oil and wine, especially in the first inflammation. And the diet at first must be low; fwine is improper; the wound is to be fomented with hot water, and chill avoided in every way; and we should pass on to medicaments which induce suppuration, the treatment being directed rather to the wound than to the fracture; consequently the bandage must be removed every day and the wound dressed. In this treatment when a small fragment of  p553 bone projects, if it is blunt, it is pushed back into place; if it is pointed, the projection, if long, is cut off before replacing it; if short, it is filed off; and in either case it is smoothed down with a chisel, and then pushed back. gAnd if this cannot be done with the hand, pinchers,​61 such as smiths use, must be applied on the concave side to the end of the bone which is in a correct position in order that the convex side may force the projecting bone into place. If the projecting fragment is larger, and covered with small membranes, it is best to leave these to be loosened by medicaments, and then to cut off the bone as soon as it is laid bare; of course this is to be done soon. By this method the bones may join and the wound also may heal, the former in due time, the latter as circumstances permit.

hIt happens also occasionally in the case of a large wound that some fragments die, so to speak, and fail to unite with the rest of the bone; this as usual can be learnt from the character of the discharge. It is then particularly necessary to loosen the bandage and dress the wound more often. It generally happens that after some days such bone comes away by itself. iAlthough the condition of the wound is bad before, nevertheless surgery can sometimes cure it. But if in wounds of this kind pain and inflammation occur, the limb must be bathed in cold water, and you will have to do this for some time. For often the sound skin is broken by a fragment of bone, and at once irritation and pain occur. When this happens the wound must be unbandaged at once, and fomented in summer with cold water, in winter with lukewarm water, then the myrtle cerate must be put on. But at times the fracture irritates  p555 the flesh by projections like needle-points: as soon as this is known by the itching and pricking, the surgeon is obliged to expose and cut off these points. The rest of the treatment is in either case the same as when a blow cause the wound in the first instance.

kWhen the wound is clean in these cases too food must be given that makes the flesh grow. If the limb is still too short, and the bones are not in place, a thin wedge, as smooth as possible, should be inserted between the fractured ends, so that the head of the wedge projects a little out of the wound; every day it is driven inwards a little until by this means the limb becomes like the other; then the wedge is taken out and the wound left to heal; to encourage it to heal the limb is fomented with a cold decoction of myrtle, ivy or similar vervains; a desiccating medicament is smeared on; and special care must be taken to keep the limb at rest until there is firm union.

lBut if at any time the bones have not united, because they have often been unbandaged and moved about, then the treatment is obvious; keep them still and they may unite. If the fracture is of long standing, the limb is stretched in order to reproduce et injury to some extent; the fractured ends must be separated by manipulation, so that when allowed to come into contact they rub one another; thus any fatty tissue is rubbed of, and the whole thing is like a fresh fracture; great care, however, must be taken that sinews and muscles are not injured. mThen the limb is to be fomented with a decoction of pomegranate rindº and wine; and this, mixed with white of egg, is used as a dressing; it is changed on the third day, and the  p557 limb fomented with the decoction of vervains mentioned above; on the fifth day this is repeated and splints placed round it. The rest of the treatment before and after this is the same as described above.

nBut sometimes the bones unite with one another sideways, and the limb is then shorter and misshapen; and if the ends are at all pointed, sharp prickings are felt. On this account the bones should be re-fractured and put straight. It is done in this way; the limb is fomented freely with hot water, smeared with a liquid cerate, then stretched. And meanwhile the surgeon handles the bones, and as the callus is still soft, separates the ends, and forces the projecting piece into place; and if he is not strong enough to do this, he puts a ruler wrapped in wool over the projecting bone; and by bandaging it like this forces the bone back to its original place. But occasionally, though the fragments are in correct apposition, too much callus develops and there is a swelling over the fracture. oWhen this happens the limb should be gently rubbed for a long while with oil containing salt and soda, and then fomented freely with hot water and salt; and a poultice should be applied as a dispersive, besides firmer bandages; use a diet of green vegetables, and an emetic besides, which reduces the callus together with the flesh. And it is of advantage in this condition to apply mustard mixed with a fig to the corresponding limb until it causes irritation and draws away the diseased matter.​62 When by this means the swelling has been reduced, return is made to the ordinary course of life.

 p559  11 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] So much for the discussion of fractured bones. Turning to dislocations,​63 these are of two kinds: for at times bones which are conjoined gape asunder, as when the shoulder-bone recedes from the clavicle, and, in the forearm, the radius from the ulna, or in the leg the tibia from the fibula; sometimes after a jump the heel-bone from the ankle, though this is rare; at times joints slip out of position. I will speak of the former first.

2 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Now when anything of this sort happens, there is a depression at once on the spot, and when the finger is put into this a gap is felt; after this severe inflammation arises, particularly at the ankle; indeed this is often a cause of fevers also and gangrene and spasms of the sinews or rigors, which bend back the head to the shoulder-blade.​64 To avoid these things the same is to be done as was laid down for bone injuries in general,​65 so that pain and swelling may be thereby relieved. For bones so separated never again unite, and even if the appearance of the limb is somewhat impaired its usefulness is not.

3 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Since all joints, including the jawbone and vertebrae, are held in place by strong sinews, they are displaced either by force or after some accident which has ruptured or weakened the sinews, and this occurs more readily in boys and youths, than in the more robust. And these joints slip out  p561 forwards, backwards, inwards, outwards, some in all directions, some in certain only. And there are some signs which are common to all, some special to each; there is always a swelling in the part into which the bone has ruptured, and a hollow whence the bone has receded. 4 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]These signs are found in all, but others only in some cases; these I will describe when speaking of each separately. But while it is possible for all joints to slip out, yet not all can be replaced. For the head is never forced back into position,​66 nor is a spinal vertebra, nor a jawbone which has been dislocated forwards on both sides, and has become inflamed before it has been replaced. Again, any joints which have slipped owing to a lesion of their sinews, even when forced back into position slip out again. Also when joints have been dislocated in childhood, and have not been replaced, there is less growth than elsewhere.​67 5 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]The flesh of all which are out of place wastes, and in the near more than in the distant part of the limb; for instance, if the upper arm-bone is not in its place, the wasting is more here than in the forearm, more in the forearm than in the hand. 6 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Again, according to the site and character of the accidents, more or less use of the limb is retained; and the more use is retained, the less does it waste. Now every dislocation ought to be replaced before there is inflammation; but if this has set in already, the limb is not to be disturbed until after it subsides; only when it has ended should replacement be attempted in the limbs which allow of it. But for this much depends upon the general constitution of the patient and his sinews. 7 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]For if his body is slender, and humid, if sinews are weak, the bone is readily replaced; but  p563 just as the bones slips out more easily in the first instance, so the replacement is less secure. With an opposite type of constitution the replacement is more lasting but there is more difficulty in restoring that which has been put out of position. The inflammation should be relieved by applying greasy wool saturated with vinegar: there should be abstinence from food, in the case of the stronger joints, for three days, some he said for five; warm water is drunk, enough to relieve thirst; this regimen must be followed more strictly after dislocation of bones which are held in place by strong and large muscles; far more strictly indeed if fever supervenes; 8 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]then after the fifth day there should be hot-water fomentation; when the wool is removed, a cerate must be applied made with cyprus oil with the addition of soda, until all inflammation has ended. Then the limb is to be rubbed, good food given and wine in moderation; and now also the natural use of the limb is to be encouraged; because though movement when it gives pain is harmful, it is otherwise most beneficial to the body. After these generalities, I will now speak of particular cases.

12 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] The lower​68 jaw is displaced forwards, sometimes on one side, sometimes on both. If on one side, it inclines with the chin to the opposite side, the teeth do not correspond with their fellows, but the canineº are under the incisors. But if on both sides, the whole chin is moved forwards, and the lower teeth stick out beyond the upper ones; and the muscles above appear tense. 2 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]As soon as possible the patient is to be seated on a stool, with an assistant behind holding his head, or with his  p565 back against a wall and a hard leather cushion between the wall and the back of his head, against which his head is firmly pushed by the assistant, to keep it from moving. Then the surgeon's thumbs, which have been wrapped round with strips of linen or bandages so that they may not slip, are inserted into the mouth whilst the fingers are applied outside. 3 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]When the jaw has been grasped firmly, if it has slipped forwards to one side, the chin is to be pressed down towards the throat with a jerk. Then simultaneously the head is firmly held, and the chin being raised the jaw is forced back to its place, and the mouth is closed so that all this is done almost with one movement. 4 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]If it has been dislocated on both sides all the same movements are to be done except that the jaw is forced straight backwards. When the bone is in its place, if the accident has been attended with pain in the eyes and neck, blood is to be let from the arm. For all patients with dislocated bones, a more liquid diet is proper at first, but especially in this case, since even talking, as it causes constant movement of the mouth by means of the sinews, is harmful.

13 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] As I stated in the first part,​69 the head is held by two processes, inserted into two cups in the highest vertebra. These processes sometimes slip out backwards; with the result that the sinews under the occiput​70 are stretched, and the chin fixed to the chest; the man cannot drink or speak, and sometimes has involuntary emission of semen; upon these symptoms death very quickly supervenes. Now I  p567 thought this condition should be described, not that there is any treatment for it, but that it may be recognized by these indications, and that those who have lost someone in this way may not deem the medical man to have been at fault.

14 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] The same fate awaits those whose spinal vertebrae have been dislocated; for this cannot happen without rupture of the marrow in the middle of them, and of the two little membranes which pass oust between the two processes at the side, and of the sinews which hold them together. But the vertebrae may slip pout both backwards and forwards, above the diaphragm or below it. 2 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]The direction of the displacement is indicated either by a swelling or by a hollow at the back. If it happens above the diaphragm, there is paralysis of the arms, and vomiting or spasm follow, breathing is difficult, pain is severe, and hearing blunted. If below the diaphragm, the lower limbs are paralysed, the urine is suppressed, or sometimes is passed involuntarily. From such accidents the man dies more slowly than when the head is displaced, yet within three days. 3 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]As for what Hippocrates said, that when a vertebra has been displaced backwards, the man is to be laid out on his face, and stretched out, while an assistant presses his heel upon the displaced bone and pushes it inwards, that procedure is only to be adopted when the bone has slipped out a little, not if there is a total displacement. For occasionally weakness of the sinews causes a vertebra, although not displaced, to project a little, either backwards or forwards. This is not a fatal accident, but we cannot press upon a vertebra from within; it cannot even be touched; and if it is pressed upon from outside,  p569 it generally slips back again, unless, as very rarely happens, the strength of the sinews is renewed.

15 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Passing to the humerus,​71 it is sometimes put out into the armpit, sometimes forwards. If it is dislocated into the armpit, the elbow stands out from the side; again, this elbow, together with the upper arm, cannot be raised to the level of the ear on the same side, and that forearm is longer than the other. But if forwards, the upper forearm can be stretched out, but not to its full extent; and it is more difficult to stretch out the elbow forwards than backwards.

2 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]So if the upper bone has slipped out into the armpit and the patient is still young or supple, at any rate if the sinews are not very powerful, it is sufficient to have him held on a stool; one of the two assistants is directed to press gently upon the head of the blade-bone, while the other stretches the forearm; then the surgeon seated behind thrusts one hand into the point's armpit, presses the bone up with this hand, and with the other presses the elbow to the side. 3 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]But for a more powerful patient, with stronger sinews, a wooden board is required, two fingers thick, and lon enough to reach from the armpit to the fingers; the upper end is rounded and slightly hollowed to admit a small part of the head of the humerus. In three places in this, with a space between, are two slots through which soft straps are passed. 4 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]And this board, covered with bandage to avoid injury by contact, is so applied from the forearm to the armpit, that its upper end is put under the armpit: it is then tied to the limb by its  p571 straps, one just below the head of the humerus, the second a little above the elbow, the third short of the wrist, to which purpose the two spaces between the six holes are adapted. 5 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]The limb so fixed is passed over a rung of a poultry ladder​72 at such a height that the patient himself cannot stand firmly; and whilst his body is allowed to sink down to one side, the limb is stretched on the other side; and thus it comes about that the top of the humerus is forced upwards into place by the top of the board, sometimes with, sometimes without a sound. It is easy to learn that there are many other methods by reading Hippocrates alone, but no other has met with more approval in practice.

6 But if the humerus is put out forwards, the man is laid on his back and a bandage or a leather strap passed under his armpit, the ends of which are handed to one assistant behind the man's head and his forearm to another assistant; and it must be arranged that the former pulls the strap, the latter the forearm. Then the surgeon should thrust back the man's head with his left hand, whilst with his right he raises the elbow together with the upper arm and forces the bone back into place; and reduction is easier in this case than in the previous one.

7 When the bone has been replaced, the armpit is filled with wool; if the bone had moved backwards, to prevent it from slipping back; if forwards, to make the bandaging more effective. Then the bandage must first pass under the armpit and control the head of the bone, then stretch across the chest under the opposite armpit, next over the shoulder-blades and again back to the head of the same arm-bone,  p573 and it is to be carried round several times in the same way until bone is well held. The bone when bandaged in this way is held in place more comfortably if it is also bandaged close to the side.

16 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] From what was said at the beginning of this book, it can be understood how the three bones, humerus, radius and ulna, meet together at the elbow.​73 If the ulna which is connected to the upper arm slips away from it, the radius which is joined to the ulna is sometimes dragged with it, sometimes remains in position. The ulna can slip out in all four directions: but if it is dislocated forwards, the forearm is extended and cannot be flexed; if backwards, the forearm is flexed and cannot be extended, and it is shorter than on the opposite side; sometimes this causes fever and bilious vomiting. 2 If the ulna has been dislocated outwards or inwards, the forearm is stretched but a little bent towards the part from which the bone has receded. Whatever has happened, there is one method of treatment which holds good not only for the ulna but also for all long bones which are connected at their articulation by a long head. Each limb is to be pulled in opposite directions until there is a gap between the bones. Then the bone which has fallen out of place is forced into the opposite direction from the position into which it has slipped. 3 The methods of extension, however, are various according to the strength of the sinews, and the direction in which the bones have given way. And sometimes only the hands are used, sometimes other means have to be applied. Thus if the ulna has slipped forwards,  p575 extension by two hands, at times aided by straps, is sufficient; then some round object is to be put in front of the biceps​74 and the ulna suddenly flexed over it towards the upper arm. 4 But in other forms of displacement, it is best to stretch the forearm as described above for fracture of the elbow​75 and then to replace the bones. The rest of the treatment is the same as in all other cases; only the dressing must be taken off more quickly and more often and there must be more plentiful fomentations with hot water, and more prolonged rubbing with oil, nitre and salt. For whether the elbow remains out of place or is put back again, callus forms more quickly round it than round any other joint, and if this callus has grown through resting the joint it prevents flexion afterwards.

The hand​76 also may be dislocated in all four directions. If it has slipped out backwards, the fingers cannot be stretched out; if forwards, they do not bend; if to either side, the hand is turned in the opposite direction either towards the thumb or towards the little finger. It can be replaced without difficulty. The hand, supported on a hard and resistant object, must be stretched one way, the forearm the other, in such a way that the hand is palm downwards if the bone has slipped out backwards, palm upwards if forwards; 2 if the displacement is inwards or outwards, upon the side. When the sinews are sufficiently stretched, the surgeon's hands push back the bone, in the opposite direction to the side to which it has slipped. Where  p577 the dislocation is forwards or backwards, some hard object is placed upon the hand, and pressed on the projecting bone, and by this additional force the bone is more readily pushed back into place.

18 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] In the palm also bones are sometimes moved from their places, either forwards or backwards; for they cannot move sideways because of the bones on either side. There is but one sign, and that common to all, a swelling over the displacement, a hollow at the spot from which the bone has receded. But without extension the bone is returned into its place imply by firm pressure with a finger.

19 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Now the fingers can be dislocated in almost as many ways as the hand and the signs are the same. But in stretching these less force is required, for the joints are shorter and the sinews less strong. They only need to be stretched out on a table, when the dislocation is forwards or backwards; then reduction is made with the palm of the hand; but when the displacement is to one side, by means of the surgeon's fingers.

20 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Since I have described the above, I can be held also to have described displacements in the legs: for in this kind of accident also there is some similarity between the thigh and upper arm, between the tibia and ulna, between the foot and the hand. But there are also some special points to note about the legs.

2 The thigh-bone​77 may be moved out of place in all four directions, oftenest inwards, next outwards, very rarely forwards or backwards. If it has been dislocated inwards, the leg is longer than the other, and is bowed; for the point of the foot looks outwards;  p579 if outwards, the leg becomes shorter and knock-need, and the foot is inclined inwards; the heel in walking does not touch the ground, but only the extreme end of the sole; the leg in this case supports the rest of the body better and more uprightly than in the other and there is less need for a stick. 3 If forwards, the leg is extended and cannot be bent; as far as the heel the injured leg is the length of the other one, but the extremity of the sole is less bent forward; and in this case there is marked pain, and very often the urine is suppressed. When the inflammation and pain have subsided, the patients walk fairly and the whole of their foot touches the ground. If backwards, the leg cannot be stretched out, and is shorter; when the patient is standing the heel in these cases too cannot touch the ground. 4 But the great danger with regard to the thigh is that it is difficult to replace, or, after replacement, slips again out of position. Some hold that it always does so; but such renowned authorities as Hippocrates​78 and Diocles and Phylotimus and Nileus and Heracles of Tarentum have related that they had completely restored such cases; nor would Hippocrates, Andreas, Nileus, Nymphodorus, Protarchus, Heraclides, and a certain smith as well, have invented so many sorts of instruments for making extension on the thigh after this accident, if it had been all of no use. But although that opinion is a false one, there is this truth in it: 5 since the ligaments and muscles there are very strong, if they retain their strength they scarcely allow of replacement; if not, they do not keep in place afterwards. Replacement, then, is to be attempted; and if the limb is weak it is sufficient to stretch it by straps, one from the groin,  p581 another from the knee; if stronger, the assistants will have more purchase if they have knotted the straps around long poles; and if after pressing the lower ends of the poles against firm supports, they have drawn the upper ends towards themselves with both hands. 6 Even more forcible pressure can be exerted by stretching the limb over a bench,​79 at either end of which is a windlass to which the straps are attached; when these are rotated as in a winepress, it is possible, by continuing to do this, even to rupture the ligaments and muscles, and not merely to stretch them. Now the patient is to be laid upon this bench, on his face or back or side, so that that part is always the higher into which the bone has slipped, and that from which it has receded the lower. 7 When the sinews have been stretched, if the bone comes forwards, some round object is placed over the groin and the patient's knee must be pulled back over it with a jerk, in the same way and for the same reason for which this was done in the case of the forearm;​80 as soon as the thigh can be bent up, the bone is in place. 8 In the other cases, when the bones under extension have receded a little from each other, the surgeon should force the projecting part back, whilst an assistant presses the hip in the opposite direction. When the bone is replaced nothing further need be done, but the patient must be kept in bed for a rather long time or the thigh may become displaced again on moving while the sinews are still relaxed.

21 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] It is very well known that the knee​81 is put out externally and internally and backwards. Many have written that it does not slip out forwards; and this may be very near the truth, for the knee-cap  p583 is there right in front and holds the head of the tibia in place. Meges, however, has recorded a case in which he replaced a knee which had slipped forwards.​82 2 In cases affecting the knee-joint the sinews can be extended by the same means as I have described for the thigh. And when it has slipped out backwards, as described above, a round ball of some kind is placed on the ham, and when the leg is bent up over it, the knee slips back again. In the other cases it is to be replaced by the surgeon's hands while the bones are being drawn apart in opposite directions.

22 1 The ankle​83 can be dislocated in all fought directions. When it slips inwards, the sole of the foot is turned outwards; when outwards, the contrary sign is exhibited. If the ankle is dislocated forwards, the broad sinew behind​84 is hard and tense, and in those cases manipulation is required; if backwards, the heel is almost hidden and the sole is elongated. 2 But this is also replaced by manipulation, the foot and leg first being stretched in opposite directions. And after this kind of accident also, the patient should stay for a long while in because, lest the ankle, which sustains the whole weight of the body, should give way and again be displaced if the sinews have not gained strength enough for bearing the weight. At first low shoes should be worn, so that the ankle may not be injured by tight lacing.

23 1 The bones of the sole of the foot may come out like those of the hand, and are set after the same fashion. Only the bandage should also include the  p585 heel, in case, when the middle and front part of the sole have to be bandaged, if the ankle is left unbandaged, too much matter should accumulate there, and lead to suppuration.

24 1 For the toes the same treatment is required as was laid down for the fingers. But the middle or end joint when replaced may be fixed in some kind of gutter splint.85

25 1 This is the treatment for those cases in which no wound accompanies the dislocation. . . . In these cases too there is not only great danger but it is more serious, the larger the limb, and the more powerful the sinews and muscles controlling it. 2 Hence in the case of the shoulder and hip joints there is risk of death: and if the bones are set, there is no hope at all; if not, there is still some danger, and in either case the nearer the wound is to the joint the greater the cause for anxiety. Hippocrates said that no such dislocation could be replaced safely except those of fingers and toes, and feet and hands, and even in these cases it was best not to be in a hurry. 3 Some have also replaced elbows and knees; and have then let blood at the elbow, lest gangrene and spasm​86 should arise, after which generally in such cases an early death follows. Even a finger, in which the damage and therefore the damage is least, ought not to be reset whilst there is inflammation, or indeed at a later stage when the condition is of long standing. 4 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Moreover, when after replacement the sinews become tense, the bone should at once be put out again. Where there is a dislocation and a wound as well, the limb which has not been set should lie in the position easiest  p587 to the patient; only it must not be moved or hang downwards. In every disorder of this kind there is great advantage in prolonged abstinence, and then in the treatment described above for fractured bones when there is also a wound.​87 5 If bare bone projects, it will always be troublesome; hence the projection is to be sawn away and dry lint and medicaments without lard put on, until what is possible in the way of healing for such a case is arrived at; for weakness of the limb follows and the scar that forms is thin, and this of necessity is afterwards readily subject to injury.

The Editor's Notes:

1 See Appendix, p593.

2 Cf. Herodotus, IX.83, where a skull is said to have been found on the battlefield of Plataea which had no sutures at all.

3 nasopharyngeal, or respiratory passages.

4 ζυγοειδής or ζύγωμα (cf. Hippocrates III, p263). The bone is still known as the os jugale or zygoma.

5 This is not correct. See Appendix, p595, note c.

6 τομεῖς = incisors.

7 Translating Marx's conjecture, but the text is doubtful and has been variously emended.

8 The atlas vertebra.

9 The axis vertebra.

10 Stretchers. See Hippocrates III.288 (Joints, XLV).

11 For the meaning of hebetiora and an explanation of the description, see Appendix, p597, esp. note d.

12 The collar-bone. See Appendix, p598.

13 The pubis bone or pecten.

14 The condyles.

15 The fibula: the name sura is not now applied to this bone, though the tibia is still called by the same name.

16 For VIII.2‑4, cf. Hippocrates III.16 et seqq, Head Wounds, especially VII, VIII, XII, XIV, XVII, XIX; also Epidemics, V.16, 28, 60, 97; VII.32, 35; Diseases, II.7.14, 15, 24 (Littré).

17 The χοινεικίς (χοινικίς), or crown trephine, still commonly used, was a tube serrated at the edge and with a pin in the centre. The strap was used like the string in spinning a top to make the movement of the instrument as rapid as possible and so diminish the pain for the patient. According (p497)to Paulus Aegineta (VI.90) it was not approved in his day, and only the trepan was used.

18 VIII.1.1.

19 μηνιγγοφύλαξ, "the guardian of the membrane," called membranae custos, VIII.4.17. The instrument is still used for the same purpose.

20 i.e. the irregular cancellous bone of the diploe upon the outer aspect of the inner table.

21 p509.

22 λεπίς as in I.168; II.178.

23 This refers especially to Hippocrates, Epidemics, V.27, 28 (Littré), where the case about which he was mistaken is described. Celsus usually includes under the single term sutura fissures due to injury (which he sometimes calls rimae, VIII.3.5 and 16) as well as the natural sutures of the skull: (p505)Hippocrates distinguished the former (ἔδραι) from the latter (ῥαφαί).

24 VIII.1.2.

25 Indian ink, cf. Hippocrates, Head Wounds, XIV.47.

26 p500, note b.

27 This condition is called hernia cerebri, although actual brain substance is not necessarily included in the swelling, cf. Hippocrates III.38, 40 (Head Wounds, XV.33, XVII.14).

28 pp89. 91.

29 i.e. when a wound exposes the frontal sinus. For the frontal sinus see pp475 and 495, and for such a wound p501.

30 For injuries to the nose, cf. Hippocrates III.264 etseqq, 401 (Joints, XXXV‑XXXIX, Mochlikon, II).

31 In order to hold up the tip of the nose.

32 For injuries to the ear, cf. Hippocrates III.274, 404 (Joints, XL, Mochlikon, III).

33 This excision of cartilage allowed pus to escape and avoided a visible puckered scar on the ear; such scars mark present-day professional boxers.

34 For fractures and displacements, cf. Hippocrates III.94 ff. (Fractures, 1 ff.); for fractures of the lower jaw, Hippocrates III.256 ff. (Joints, XXXII‑XXXIV); for union of fractures, Hippocrates III.112 (Fractures, VII).

35 Cf. VIII.5.2.

36 For fractures of the clavicle, cf. Hippocrates III.230‑244 (Joints, XIII‑XVI).

37 That is the pectoral fraga of the clavicle.

38 Cf. Hippocrates III.242 (Joints, XV).

39 For this meaning of umerus, cf. Appendix, p598.

40 The canaliculus or gutter-splint (σωλήν), made of canes (ferulae) was like the rattan can splint formerly used in India.

41 VIII.7.4.

42 For rib injuries, cf. Hippocrates III.306 ff. (Joints, XLIX, L).

43 Sect. 2 B.

44 V.18.8.

45 So called because it came from the islands of Hyères (Στοιχάδες).

46 II.154, note.

47 Celsus definitely omitted as too dangerous an operation the methods of forcibly reducing spinal dislocation described in detail by Hippocrates III.278 ff., 434 (Joints, XLI‑XLVIII, Mochlikon, XXXVI A, XXXVII A). Modern treatment follows the milder methods described by Celsus here and in chapter 14, rather than those of Hippocrates.

48 Cf. section 1 D.

49 For fracture of the long bones (humerus and femur), cf. Hippocrates III.7.4 (Surgery, XV, XVI), and for fractures with wounds, cf. Hippocrates III.148 ff. (Fractures, XXIV‑XXXII).

50 i.e. first, second and fourth.

51 VIII.7.5.

52 For fractures of the upper arm (humerus), cf. Hippocrates III.114, 194 (Fractures, VIII, XLVI); accompanied by a wound, III.178 (Fractures, XXXV, XXXVI).

53 Translating Marx's conjecture.

54 Marx adds: "should be put on when the bones have been set, and the forearm hung in a sling from the neck so that it cannot move."

55 For fractures of the forearm, cf. Hippocrates III.94 ff. (Fractures, I‑VII). The commonest type is a fracture of the olecranon process by a fall on the point of the elbow; the (p545)treatment for avoiding fixation of the elbow joint is correctly described by Celsus.

56 See Appendix, p599 and note a on cubitus.

57 For fractures of the leg, cf. Hippocrates III.120 ff., 164 and 446 (Fractures, X‑XVIII, XXX, and Mochlikon, XLII).

58 i.e. the thigh and upper arm, cf. Hippocrates III.180 (Fractures, XXXVI).

59 Cf. Hippocrates III.64 ff. (Surgery, VIII‑XII).

60 VIII.10.4.

61 Morgagni (Ep. V) discusses this passage. The bone which is in correct position served as a fulcrum against which the forceps was applied as a lever to put back the displaced fragment.

62 With the idea that the corresponding parts of opposite limbs symathize.

63 Chapters 11‑24 deal with dislocations. Celsus does not use the technical term membra luxata for dislocated limbs, though this is found in earlier and later writers (cf. Cato, R. R. 157.4, and Seneca, Ep. 104.18). Excidere is the word generally used by Celsus to describe a dislocation, though delabi and elabi also occur. Luxare is found once in Celsus, cf. VII.1.1 and note. For the description of dislocations in (p559)Hippocrates, cf. III pp212, 218, 344, 386 (Joints, VIII, IX, LXI, LXXIX).

64 Such symptoms, due to a wound infected with tetanus micro-organisms, while not a direct complication of a dislocation, might easily accompany it in cases where there was a wound as well, and were ascribed by Celsus to the dislocation rather than to the wound. Cf. vol. I p376 (IV.6.1).

65 VIII.7.4.

66 VIII.13.

67 Cf. Hippocrates III.320, 330 (Joints, LII, LVI).

68 Dislocations of lower jaw or mandible, Hippocrates III.252, 256, 404 (Joints, XXX, XXXI, Mochlikon, IV). For maxilla, cf. Appendix, p595, note a.

69 VII.1.11, 12, 13. In chapters 13 and 14 Celsus treats of spine displacement, cf. Hippocrates III.278 etseqq, also 434 (Joints, XLI‑XLVIII, Mochlikon, XXXVI.a, XXXVII.a).

70 For dislocations of shoulder, cf. Hippocrates III.200 etseqq, also 406, and frontispiece (Joints, I‑XII, Mochlikon, V).

71 Here = head of the upper arm-bone. For the various meanings of humerus, cf. Appendix, p593, note b.

72 For this use of a ladder, cf. Hippocrates III.209 (Joints, VI).

73 VIII.1.19, 20. For dislocations and fracture above the elbow, cf. Hippocrates III.184 etseqq-244 etseqq, 356, 410 (p573)(Fractures, XXXVIII‑XLV; Joints, XVII‑XXV, LXVI; Mochlikon, VII‑XXV).

74 VIII.10.2D.

75 VIII.10.4, and note. For the meanings of cubitus, cf. p599, note a, but the use in the two meanings is awkward here; see critical note.

76 For dislocations and fracture at the wrist and in the hand, cf. Hippocrates III.248 etseqq (Joints, XXVI‑XXIX), (p575)when accompanied by wounds, Hippocrates III.354, 356, 388, 414 (Joints, LXIV, LXVII, LXXX, Mochlikon, XVI, XVII).

77 For dislocations at the hip, cf. Hippocrates III.312 etseqq, 366, 386, 416 (Joints, LI‑LXI, LXX, LXXIX, Mochlikon, XX‑XXV). The four dislocations are now known as: (i) obturator, (ii) dorsal, (iii) pubic, (iv) sciatic.

78 Hippocrates III.366.

79 Hippocrates III.372 (Joints, LXXII, LXXIII), and (for the Hippocratic bench), p453.

80 VIII.16.3.

81 For dislocations of the knee, cf. Hippocrates III.182, 390, 424 (Fractures, XXXVII; Joints, LXXXII, Mochlikon, XXVI).

82 Probably there was a separation of the lower epiphysis of the femur in a boy, replaced by flexing the knee.

83 For dislocations and fracture of the ankle and foot, cf. Hippocrates III.118, 120, 126, 130, 350, 360, 388, 392, 394, 424 (Fractures, IX, XI, XIII, XIV; Joints, LXIII, (p583)LXVII‑LXVIII, LXXX, LXXXIV, LXXXVII, Mochlikon, XXVI‑XXXI).

84 The tendon of Achilles.

85 VII.8.1C; 10.5A.

86 IV.6.1, note.

87 VIII.10.7D.

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