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Of all the various fractures of bones of the human body, there is none which excites more uneasiness as to the result of the healing process, in the mind of the surgeon, than does a solution of the continuity of the patella. Various devices have been advocated for the purpose of keeping the fragments in apposition, in order to have the desire of the surgeon realized—union by bone, instead of cartilage; but none of these instruments have produced the results of which, taken collectively, we may as a profession be proud. To be sure, with the hooks of Malgaigne, better results have been obtained in later years than formerly, though the failures have been many and near together, while diseases of the fragments of bone may have been caused by their use.
To say the least, they are cruel. Next to the hooks, come in their order plaster of Paris,
WILE WC. A CASE OF OLD FRACTURE OF THE PATELLA CURED BY WIRING THE FRAGMENTS.Read in the Section of Surgery and Analomy, at the Fortieth Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association, June, 1889.. JAMA. 1890;XIV(10):342–343. doi:10.1001/jama.1890.02410100018001c