This accident consists in protrusion of some portion of the contents of the abdomen through an opening in its wall. There are several varieties, the chief of which are umbilical, inguinal and femoral. Hernia may be single or double, as it occurs upon one or both sides. It is often the result of violent straining in lifting, or of straining at stool.

The Treatment of Hernia

A person who has hernia should never be without a properly fitting truss. Fig. 499. It should be worn constantly, as when the hernia is allowed to come down, it may become strangulated, so that it cannot be returned, and may speedily terminate the life of the patient. When hernia gets down in this way, it can generally, if taken in hand at once, be readily reduced by careful manipulation, termed taxis. Taxis should be performed by placing the patient in an easy position, with his limbs flexed so as to take off all strain from the abdominal walls, and then endeavoring to push the protruding bowel back through the opening by means of which it has escaped from the abdominal cavity. A few days ago a case came under our care in which the hernia had been down for several days, and by means of injudicious manipulation had become very greatly inflamed, so that it was impossible to restore the intestine to the abdominal cavity without a surgical operation, which we accordingly performed, and with the happy result of effecting a cure, as the patient made a good recovery.

Fig. 499. Truss for Hernia.

Fig. 499. Truss for Hernia.