The white swelling is a common and exceedingly painful disorder. It has been considered incurable by the faculty, who have frequently resorted to amputation as the only remedy.
The knee, ankle, wrist, and elbow, are the joints most subject to white swellings. As the name of the disease implies, the skin is not at all altered in color. In some instances, the swelling yields, in a certain degree, to pressure; but it never pits, and is almost always sufficiently firm to make an uninformed examiner believe that the bones contribute to the tumor. The pain is sometimes vehement from the very first; in other instances, there is hardly the least pain in the beginning of the disease. In the majority of scrofulous white swellings, let the pain be trivial or violent, it is particularly situated in one part of the joint, viz., either the centre of the articulation, or the head of the tibia, supposing the knee affected. In some cases, abscesses form a few months after the first affection of the joint; on other occasions, several years elapse, and no suppuration of this kind makes its appearance.
Courses of medicine are indispensable in this form of disease. A thorough course should be administered once a week. During the intervals the knee should be bathed with the stimulating liniment, and poulticed with the elm poultice combined with the sediment of drops No. 6. Composition, spiced bitters, and pills No. 1, should be taken according to directions. The diet should consist of coarse wheat bread, rice, potatoes, ripe fruit, etc., avoiding butter, meat. tea and coffee, etc.