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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 89.djvu/864

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Humanity's Bent Twigs

The marvelous ways in which infantile paralysis, joint deformities and hunchbacks are cured

���A group ol patients wearing plaster-casts to correct deformities of the spine. When the casts are finally removed the backs arc as straight and strong as nature intended them to be, and remain so

��FOUR years ago a j'oung Italian coiiplo living in New York looked forward with eager anticipation to the arrival of their firstborn. They hoped it might be a boy. It was. But their joy was much clouded because the child had no feet. There were no ankle-joints — nothing but a large leg-bone. Just below where the ankles should have been the legs terminated in points. I bit- was a great misfortune. .\e\er could the child walk. K.vcept for this defect the l)aby was as fine a boy as one would wish to sec.

The other day I saw that baby, now grown to four \-ears of age, run across a ward of the Hospital for Deformities and Joint Diseases in .New York city. Me ran on flesh and blood feel, not as well, perhajis, as though he had bc-en born with them. lUit he ran. And we are taught that the age of miracles is past! In orthopaedic surger>- it is just beginning.

The boy's parents ha<l heard of the re- markable of corrected deformities

��which the Hospital for Deformities and Joint Diseases has to its credit, and took him there. They hoped that some mechan- ical means might be found to enable him to walk^omething in the nature of a brace, iierhajis.

Dr. Henry \V. Frauenthal, the distin- guished orthopaedist in charge of the hospital, determined that through an operation the child could be provided with feet made from his own bone and llcsh. Accordingly the leg-bones were broken at the place where the ankles should have been and then reset at right angles, to form feet. To be sure, these feel h.iNC not the spring, the resilience, of natural feet; but the bo\- need ne\er be dependent on others because of his inabilitv' to walk. I lis general he.dth will be much better, since he may exercise naturally.

Kach <lay five hundred afflicted persons attend the clinic at the Hosjiital for De- fnrinities and Joint Diseases. It is the nnl\- Niw ^'<p^k hi» .iccepts chil-


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