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October 11, 1941


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Division of Orthopaedics, Tulane University of Louisiana School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1941;117(15):1234-1237. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820410012003

War and the treatment of the casualties of war have invariably stimulated the study of proper methods of caring for compound fractures. The present world conflict is no exception, and a considerable amount of controversial opinion has been voiced recently as to the best methods of external fixation of compound fractures. This difference of opinion can be accounted for largely by the fact that there exist two schools of primary therapy; one depends on frequent irrigations of the open wound, which necessitate the use of an open splint1; the other relies on packing the wound open, applying a closed form of splint and changing the dressing at infrequent intervals.2 No attempt to evaluate the relative merits of these methods will be made at this time. Forms of external fixation acceptable to each school are here described and various modifications to improve the efficiency of the fixation discussed.