Friday, June 9, 2017

Sprained Ankle Part 1

Below are some additional examples of various treatments for Sprained Ankles. I've tried to arrange them in the order of their publication. From what I've read it seems that wrapping the sprain was quite common and in the earlier part of the century the use of leeches to help bring down the swelling.

In this account you'll find the mention of the treatment of leeches but the physician came up with another alternative.
"The external appearance of the leg, and particularly the redness and tightness of the skin, would have tempted me under ordinary circumstances to prescribe the application of several leeches, and some embrocation afterwards; but I knew such a course would not greatly expedite her recovery, and the object in this case was to shorten the usual period of confinement. With confidence therefore I recommended a moderately strong ammoniated lotion, all over the leg and instep, which was applied and kept on for five minutes.' It took away the inward pain in that time, though it augmented apparently the exteral soreness and redness of the skin. After the lapse of half an hour from the first application, seeing that no blister was produced (none being desirable) I repeated the lotion, considerably diluted. and recommended that the compress should be suffered to remain on the leg during the night. The lady of the house, under my instruction, applied that same night similar compresses, with the diluted lotion, to the bruises on the knee and hips. On the following morning every thing had returned to its natural state, the swelling and redness had disappeared, and the patient could put her foot to the ground and walk without inconvenience."
Source: Dunglison's American Medical Library Part 3 pg155 ©1838
(ammoniated - To treat or combine with ammonia)

In the Retrospect of Medicine Vol. 59 pg 165 I found the quote below which is in keeping with yesterday's post giving us a better time frame for when this practice was begun.
I tightly strapped the foot and ankle, from the toes to the middle of the leg, with strips of ordinary adhesive plaster.

"Severe sprains are often serious fractures, though no bone be broken, or only a bit may be chipped off; the ligaments and fascise are ruptured, blood being extravasated into the joints, into the sheaths of tendons, and for some distance not infrequently between the layers of muscles. The swelling is great, the pain intense. The orthodox treatment by leeches and fomentations is valueless, compared with circular compression and perfect immobilisation." (Gamgee on Fractures, 1871.)
Source: The Retrospect of Medicine Vol. 74 pg 175 ©1877

The circular compression is described below:
"For a sprained ankle, place the end of the bandage upon the instep, then carry it round, and bring it over the same part again, and from thence round the foot tow or three times, finishing off with a turn or two round the leg above the ankle."
Source: Ayer's Every Man His Own Doctor" ©1879

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