From the dawn of surgery to within a very recent period, amputation at the hip-joint has been considered one of the gravest surgical operations.
In 1808 Earle1 described it as "unjustifiable," and said: "I have seen it done and am now very sure that I will never do it unless it be on a dead body." In the third edition of his "Principles of Military Surgery," Hennen,2 in 1829, said: "Obliged as we are, coolly to form our calculations in human blood, there is still something in the idea of removing the quarter of a man, at which the boldest mind naturally recoils. There is not one patient in a thousand that would not prefer instant death to the attempt." Even as late as 1881, Prof. John Ashhurst, Jr.,3 one of the highest authorities in modern surgery, wrote: "The removal of the lower limb at the coxo-femoral
WYETH JA. AMPUTATION THROUGH THE HIP-JOINT WITH A SYNOPSIS OF 267 CASES IN WHICH THE AUTHOR'S METHOD WAS EMPLOYED. JAMA. 1901;XXXVI(20):1361–1373. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.52470200001001
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