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Written 400 B.C.E
Translated by Francis Adams
Those cases in which the bone of the thigh, or of the arm, protrudes, do
not easily recover. For the bones are large, and contain much marrow; and
many important nerves, muscles, and veins are wounded at the same time.
And if you reduce them, convulsions usually supervene; and, if not reduced,
acute bilious fevers come on, with singultus and mortification. The chances
of recovery are not fewer in those cases in which the parts have not been
reduced, nor any attempts made at reduction. Still more recover in those
cases in which the lower, than those in which the upper part of the bone
protrudes; and some will recover when reduction has been made, but very
rarely indeed. For modes of treatment and peculiarity of constitution make
a great difference as to the capability of enduring such an injury. And
it makes a great difference if the bones of the arm and of the thigh protrude
to the inside; for there are many and important vessels situated there,
some of which, if wounded, will prove fatal; there are such also on the
outside, but of less importance. In wounds of this sort, then, one ought
not to be ignorant of the dangers, and should prognosticate them in due
time. But if you are compelled to have recourse to reduction, and hope
to succeed, and if the bones do not cross one another much, and if the
muscles are not contracted (for they usually are contracted), the lever
in such cases may be advantageously employed.