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April 17, 1886

DIGITAL EXPLORATION OF LUMBAR ABSCESSES.A Clinical Lecture delivered in the Mercy Hospital, Chicago (Service of Edmund Andrews, M.D., and E. Wyllys Andrews, M.D.),

JAMA. 1886;VI(16):421-422. doi:10.1001/jama.1886.04250040057001

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Abstract

Were it possible to lay open a lumbar abscess throughout its whole extent, and treat it thoroughly in every part as an open sore, we would eliminate nearly all its dangers, except in tuberculous cases. Now, by thorough digital examination of their interiors, followed by resolute incisions and tubing, we approximate to this condition of safety. Let us see what may be done for the patient before us on this principle.

He is not aware of the real nature of his disease, but supposes he has a hip disease. There is a large fluctuating tumor on the outer side of the left thigh, below the trochanter, but pressure, rotation and friction of the joint surfaces upon each other elicit no pain. There is no hip disease. I now make a free incision into the abscess and evacuate almost a quart of pus. Introducing my finger and long probes I trace

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