During the early part of March, 1934, I sustained a...

During the early part of March, 1934, I sustained a fracture of the bone in the upper left arm. I was so situated that those about me called a surgeon. Upon X-ray examination it was found that the bone was broken a short distance below the shoulder, that it was badly crushed, and the lower part of the bone had pushed up into the upper part at the point of breakage, and was firmly wedged there. I was informed that it would be impossible to set the bone; to attempt it would be to make things worse instead of better. Furthermore, there was no case on record in a breakage of this sort where the bone had set itself; this was thought to be impossible. I was told that the proper procedure was to adjust the arm in a comfortable position and allow the bone to heal as best it might. I would eventually have a usable arm, but it would be considerably shorter.

Accordingly, the arm was adjusted against a wooden, boxlike support, placed in a sling, and fastened to the shoulder with adhesive tape and bandages. Because of the support and the bandages it was impossible to lie down, and I spend the nights for the next several weeks sitting in a chair. About the end of the second week I was awakened one night by a sense of sharp pain and of something taking place in the arm. The pain was of only momentary duration and I gave it no further thought, but went to sleep again.

The box was removed in a little over three weeks and the arm was carried in a simple sling for about ten days longer. At the end of five weeks the arm was allowed to hand free and to resume a normal position, and it was found that it was exactly as long as it had been before. It was, of course, apparent that the bone had set itself in perfect position; and the crushed portions of the bone had been replaced. The surgeon later expressed himself to this effect. In a very short time the arm resumed all normal functions and it became, as it formerly had been, a "one hundred per cent arm."

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December 28, 1935

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