Ligature, a bandage or fillet, made of linen, flannel, leather, or any other elastic substance, which is generally tied round the arm, to facilitate the operation of blood-letting.

Ligatures are likewise used to extend or replace bones, which are broken or dislocated j on the arteries, during amputations, or in, large wounds; and also to secure the splints that are usually applied to fractures.

Although the instinctive propensity of the lower animals, to pinch or compress wounded or painful limbs, seems to have furnished mankind with a hint for the application of tight bandages or ligatures, with a view to intercept the nerve in its course from the part affected to the brain ; yet such practice is not always safe. We know instances where, in consequence of too long continued compression pression of the blood-vessels (previous to a surgical application) the tourniquet had produced so powerful an effect, that after removing it, the contorted limb was insensible, paralytic, and sometimes mortified.