Traction, reduction, drainage, débridement, wound sterilization and immobilization are terms used in thousands of pages that have been written about the contributions of the great war to civil surgery. Yet these very terms constitute some of the difficulties in dealing with the subject under consideration, for many papers and even textbooks have left the reader in doubt as to their exact meaning. And, too, meanings change as ideas develop. Claims for the so-called new methods and effects of war methods on civil practice underwent considerable change after the war, up to the publication of the Surgeon General's report in 1925.
Overseas experience during the war years revealed to me not only confusion of terms but an unfortunate confusion in principles and in practice. To surgeons with what Sir Robert Jones called an "orthopedic conscience," many methods and technics prevailing during the war were far from satisfactory. It was the practice
ORR HW. TREATMENT OF COMPOUND FRACTURES: WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO MILITARY SURGICAL PROCEDURES. Arch Surg. 1940;40(5):825–837. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1940.04080040007002
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