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January 24, 1931


JAMA. 1931;96(4):245-249. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02720300015004

The operation of arthroplasty is a classic illustration of the principles of modern reconstructive surgery. So much do the indications for the operation, the manner of its performance and the postoperative treatment depend on the particular circumstances of the case that there is need for the wisest surgical judgment in every phase of the procedure. The institution of operative treatment depends not only on the condition actually present but also on the antecedents of that condition, the cause of the ankylosis, and the length of time since the cause was active. The site of the incision and the approach to the joint are determined by the surgeon's experience with the after-effects of arthroplasty; here arthroplasty illustrates ideally how surgery aims rather at the prevention of complications than at their treatment. When complications necessitate reopening the joint, the surgeon must expect to face failure of the operation. The operation therefore demands

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