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The value of massage in certain surgical cases seems but imperfectly understood, and yet there are few expedients in surgical therapeutics that have a better defined place. In sprains, contusions and tendon adhesions, massage is nearly always indicated. In sprains after the primary swelling has subsided, or even at its maximum, no special treatment seems to unload the vessels more promptly than gentle massage; under this practice the plastic obstruction of the lymphatics gives way, absorption of the exudate commences, and venous engorgement disappears.
In the after treatment of dislocations, whenever passive motion is indicated, we find massage of great utility, and it is absolutely indispensable in the treatment of fractures of the lower end of the radius and of the leg. When these fractures take place in aged persons, especially in old women who are thin, there is an uncomfortable tendency toward contraction of the flexor tendons and adhesion
MASSAGE IN SURGERY.. JAMA. 1894;XXIII(9):358. doi:10.1001/jama.1894.02421140031006