Stiff Joint. Anchylosis.
This is of two kinds, complete and incomplete, complete when the bones of the joint have become firmly united by bony matter, and incomplete when the motions of the joint are very much interrupted, but not entirely destroyed. The first is the result of ulcerations of the cartilages of the joints, and of the heads of the bones; the latter, of fractures, sprains, bruises, thickening of the synovial membrane, and weakening of the muscles.
Treatment. No treatment is of much use in the first named form of the disease. By sawing through the bone, and then daily moving the limb back and forth, a false joint may be made, but it is apt to grow together again, and finally defeat the purpose of the surgeon. When however, stiffness arises from the weakening of the muscles, and some other causes involving the ligaments and tendons, something may be done by daily frictions with stimulating liniments, champooing, and warm fomentations; and by gently bending the joint back and forth, several times every day, as much as can be done without pain.
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