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May 14, 1932


Author Affiliations

Boston; Waltham, Mass.

JAMA. 1932;98(20):1737-1738. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.27320460005013c

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This case is reported for two reasons: first, because of its excellent functional and anatomic result, in spite of totally unorthodox treatment, and, second, because of its exemplification of Wolff's law, or the law of "bone transformation."

Wolff's law is as follows: Every change in the form and function of the bones, or of their function alone, is followed by certain definite changes in their internal architecture, and equally definite secondary alterations of their external conformation, in accordance with mathematical laws.

One of the corollaries of Wolff's law is that of "functional shape." The external force and internal architecture are determined by function alone.

REPORT OF CASE  J. M. C., a boy, aged 8 years, fell, June 10, 1928, and fractured his right elbow. A roentgenogram showed a supracondylar fracture which was at once reduced perfectly, but swelling and loss of radial pulse. necessitated change of position of the elbow,

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