This section of the book is from "The Complete Herbalist" by Dr. O. Phelps Brown. Also available from Amazon: The Complete Herbalist: The People Their Own Physicians By The Use Of Nature's Remedies.
This is a disease of the hip-joint, and common to scrofulous children. At first there is slight pain, commonly felt in the knee, lameness, and stumbling in walking, tenderness in the groin, and pain is produced by pressing the head of the bone suddenly against the socket. The limb is longer than the other, which is owing to a depression of the pelvis on the diseased side, the weight of the body being supported on the opposite limb. If the disease is not arrested, destruction of the head of the bone and socket results, and the thigh-bone is drawn up, constituting a spontaneous dislocation. Often an abscess forms and opens externally. The toes may be turned inward or outward.
This disease may be positively ascertained in the following way: -- Remove the clothing of the patient and place him on any flat surface, as a bench, or table; if he is placed so that the spine everywhere touches the table, the patient's knee on the affected side will be drawn up, the weight of the leg resting on the heel. If now his knee will be pressed down, the spine will be bent inwards, so that it no longer touches the table. This is an unerring diagnosis.
TREATMENT. -- At the commencement of the disease a large irritating plaster should be placed over the entire hip, and caused to remain until a thorough counter-irritation is effected, and a discharge ensues. Perfect rest is necessary, and the limb should be confined in a carved splint. Iodine may also be externally applied, and the general health improved to tonics, alteratives, and nutritious food. Counter-extension as advised in cases of fracture is advisable in all cases. A competent surgeon should direct the treatment.