The proper treatment of this affection consists in restoring the spine as nearly as possible to its natural condition, and giving it absolute rest in that position. This may be most easily accomplished by a properly adjusted splint or brace. When the disease is in the central or lower portion of the spine it may be most easily treated by means of the plaster-of-Paris jacket, a method of treatment perfected and chiefly introduced by Dr. L. A. Sayre, professor of Orthopaedic Surgery in Bellevue Hospital College, New York City. In the application of this bandage the patient is suspended by the head and shoulders by means of the harness shown in Fig. 397. The weight of the body thus acts as a force in straightening the curvature while the patient is suspended. In this way, the jacket is applied so that the condition of the spine secured during suspension is maintained, and thus the diseased surfaces are kept apart and an opportunity given for nature to effect a cure. Of course the spine cannot be straightened all at once, and it is necessary that the suspension should be frequently practiced, so that by degrees the spine may return to its natural condition.

Fig. 397. A Harness For The Treatment of Angular Curvature of the Spine.

Fig. 397. A Harness For The Treatment of Angular Curvature of the Spine.

The wheel carriage, Fig. 398, is a very useful apparatus, by the use of which a patient suffering with disease of the spine may be able to take a considerable amount of exercise in the open air. When the vertebrae of the neck are affected, an apparatus somewhat similar to a "jury-mast" is sometimes required.

Fig. 398. The Wheel Carriage For The Treatment of Angular Curvature of the Spine.

Fig. 398. The Wheel Carriage For The Treatment of Angular Curvature of the Spine.