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On The Articulations   


touch as little as possible; for it is a good sometimes to apply
nothing at all, both to the ear and to many other cases. Attention
must be paid to the patient's position during sleep. And the body must
be reduced, more especially if there be danger lest the ear suppurate;
it will also be better to open the bowels, and if the patient can be
readily made to vomit, this may be accomplished by means of the
syrmaism. If the part come to suppuration, it should not be hastily
opened; for often when matter appears to be formed it is absorbed
again, even when no cataplasm is applied. But if forced to open it,
the part will get soonest well if transfixed with a cautery, and yet
it should be well understood that the ear gets maimed, and is less
than the other if burned through. If not burned through, an
incision, and not a very small one, should be made on the upper
side; for the pus is found to be surrounded with a thicker covering
than one would have supposed; and it may be said, in general, that all
parts of a mucous nature and which form mucus, as being all viscid,
when touched, slip from below the fingers to either side; and on
that account the physician, in such cases, finds that he has to pass
his instrument through a thicker substance than he supposed; and in
certain ganglionic cases, when the skin is flabby and mucous, many
physicians open them, expecting to find a collection in them; here the
physician forms a wrong judgment, but by such a procedure no great
harm results to the patient from having had the part opened. But
with regard to watery parts, and such as are filled with mucus, and
which are situated in regions where every one of the parts, if opened,
will occasion death or some other injury, these will be treated of
in another work. When, therefore, incision is made in the ear, all
sorts of cataplasms and pledges should be avoided, and it is to be
treated either with applications for recent wounds, or anything else
which is neither heavy nor will occasion pain, for if the cartilage be
laid bare and abscesses form, the case will be troublesome; this
happens from such modes of treatment. In all aggravated cases, the
most effectual remedy is the transfixing of the part with a hot iron.
41. The vertebrae of the spine when contracted into a hump behind
from disease, for the most part cannot be remedied, more especially
when the gibbosity is above the attachment of the diaphragm to the
spine. Certain of those below the diaphragm are carried off by varices
in the legs, more especially by such as occur in the vein at the
ham; and in those cases where the gibbosities are removed, the varices
take place also in the groin; and some have been carried off by a
dysentery when it becomes chronic. And when the gibbosity occurs in
youth before the body has attained its full growth, in these cases the
body does not usually grow along the spine, but the legs and the
arms are fully developed, whilst the parts (about the back) are
arrested in their development. And in those cases where the
gibbosity is above the diaphragm, the ribs do not usually expand
properly in width, but forward, and the chest becomes sharp-pointed
and not broad, and they become affected with difficulty of breathing
and hoarseness; for the cavities which inspire and expire the breath
do not attain their proper capacity. And they are under the
necessity of keeping the neck bent forward at the great vertebra, in
order that their head may not hang downward; this, therefore,
occasions great contraction of the pharynx by its inclination
inward; for, even in those who are erect in stature, dyspnoea is
induced by this bone inclining inward, until it be restored to its
place. From this frame of body, such persons appear to have appear
to have more prominent necks than persons in good health, and they
generally have hard and unconcocted tubercles in the lungs, for the
gibbosity and the distension are produced mostly by such tubercles,
with which the neighboring nerves communicate. When the gibbosity is
below the diaphragm, in some of these cases nephritic diseases and
affections of the bladder supervene, but abscesses of a chronic
nature, and difficult to cure, occur in the loins and groins, and
neither of these carries off the gibbosity; and in these cases the

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