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On The Articulations   


teaches them to choose that which is most conformable to their present
circumstances. For persons who have a sore on the foot, or leg, and
cannot rest upon the limb, all, even children, walk in this way; for
they turn the injured limb outward in walking, and they derive two
advantages therefrom, to supply two wants; the weight of the body is
not equally thrown upon the limb turned outward, as upon the one
turned inward, for neither is the weight in a line with it, but is
much more thrown upon the one under the body; for the weight is in a
straight line with it, both in walking and in the shifting of the
legs. In this position one can most quickly turn the sound limb
under the body, by walking with the unsound limb outward, and the
sound inward. In the case we are now treating of, it is well that
the body finds out the attitudes which are the easiest for itself.
Those persons, then, who have not attained their growth at the time
when they met with a dislocation which is not reduced, become maimed
in the thigh, the leg, and the foot, for neither do the bones grow
properly, but become shortened, and especially the bone of the
thigh; and the whole limb is emaciated, loses its muscularity, and
becomes enervated and thinner, both from the impediment at the
joint, and because the patient cannot use the limb, as it does not lie
in its natural position, for a certain amount of exercise will relieve
excessive enervation, and it will remedy in so far the deficiency of
growth in length. Those persons, then, are most maimed who have
experienced the dislocation in utero, next those who have met with
it in infancy, and least of all, those who are full grown. The mode of
walking adopted by adults has been already described; but those who
are children when this accident befalls them, generally lose the erect
position of the body, and crawl about miserably on the sound leg,
supporting themselves with the hand of the sound side resting on the
ground. Some, also, who had attained manhood before they met with this
accident, have also lost the faculty of walking erect. Those who
were children when they met with the accident, and have been
properly instructed, stand erect upon the sound leg, but carry about a
staff, which they apply under the armpit of the sound side, and some
use a staff in both arms; the unsound limb they bear up, and the
smaller the unsound limb, the greater facility have they in walking,
and their sound leg is no less strong than when both are sound. The
fleshy parts of the limb are enervated in all such cases, but those
who have dislocation inward are more subject to this loss of
strength than, for the most part, those who have it outward.

53. Some tell a story how the Amazonian women dislocate the joints
of their male children while mere infants, some at the knee, and
others at the hip-joint, that they may be maimed, and that the male
sex may not conspire against the female, and that they use them as
artisans to perform any sedentary work, such as that of a shoemaker or
brazier. Whether these things be true or not I do not know, but this I
know, that matters would be such as is represented, provided their
children, while infants, were to have their joints dislocated. The
consequences of dislocation inward at the hip-joint are much greater
than of dislocation outward at the hip-joint, but at the knee,
although there be some difference, it is less; but the mode of
either impediment is peculiar, their legs are more bandied when the
dislocation is outward, but those who have dislocation inward stand
erect on their feet with less freedom. In like manner, when the
dislocation is at the anklejoint, if outward they become vari (their
toes are turned inward?), but they can stand; but if the dislocation
be inward they become valgi (their toes are turned outward?), but they
have less freedom of standing. The proportional growth of their
bones is as follows: in those cases in which the bone of the leg is
dislocated, the bones of the feet grow very little, as being very near
the injury, but the bones of the leg increase in size, and with very
little defect, but the fleshy parts (muscles?) are wasted. But when
the ankle-joint is in its natural state, but the knee is dislocated,

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