Hippocrates of Cos, Joints

LCL 149: 200-201



I. Ὤμου δὲ ἄρθρον ἕνα τρόπον οἶδα ὀλίσθανον, τὸν ἐς τὴν μασχάλην· ἄνω δὲ οὐδέποτε εἶδον, οὐδὲ ἐς τὸ ἔξω· οὐ μέντοι διϊσχυριείω ἔγωγε2 εἰ ὀλισθάνοι ἂν ἢ οὔ, καίπερ ἔχων περὶ αὐτοῦ ὅ τι λέγω. ἀτὰρ οὐδὲ ἐς τὸ ἔμπροσθεν οὐδέπω ὄπωπα ὅ τι ἔδοξέ μοι ὠλισθηκέναι· τοῖσι μέντοι ἰητροῖσι δοκεῖ κάρτα ἐς τοὔμπροσθεν ὀλισθάνειν, καὶ μάλιστα ἐξαπατῶνται ἐν τούτοισιν, ὧν ἂν φθίσις καταλάβῃ τὰς σάρκας τὰς περὶ τὸ ἄρθρον 10τε καὶ τὸν βραχίονα· φαίνεται γὰρ ἐν τοῖσι τοιούτοισι παντάπασι ἡ κεφαλὴ τοῦ βραχίονος ἐξέχουσα ἐς τοὔμπροσθεν. καὶ ἔγωγέ ποτε τὸ τοιοῦτον οὐ φὰς ἐκπεπτωκέναι ἤκουσα φλαύρως ἀπὸ3 τῶν ἰητρῶν, ὑπό τε τῶν δημοτέων διὰ τοῦτο τὸ πρῆγμα· ἐδόκεον γὰρ αὐτοῖσιν ἠγνοηκέναι μοῦνος, οἱ δὲ ἄλλοι ἐγνωκέναι, καὶ οὐκ ἠδυνάμην αὐτοὺς ἀναγνῶσαι, εἰ μὴ μόλις,4 ὅτι τόδ᾿ ἐστὶ τοιόνδε· εἴ τις τοῦ βραχίονος ψιλώσειε μὲν τῶν σαρκῶν τὴν ἐπωμίδα, ψιλώσειε δὲ ᾗ ὁ μῦς 20ἀνατείνει, ψιλώσειε δὲ τὸν τένοντα τὸν κατὰ τὴν μασχάλην τε καὶ τὴν κληῖδα πρὸς τὸ στῆθος ἔχοντα, φαίνοιτο ἂν ἡ κεφαλὴ τοῦ βραχίονος ἐς τοὔμπροσθεν ἐξέχουσα ἰσχυρῶς, καίπερ οὐκ ἐκπεπτωκυῖα· πέφυκε γὰρ ἐς τοὔμπροσθεν προπετὴς ἡ κεφαλὴ τοῦ βραχίονος· τὸ δ᾿ ἄλλο ὀστέον τοῦ


On Joints, I.

On Joints

I. As to the shoulder-joint, I know only one dislocation, that into the armpit. I have never observed either the upward or outward form, but do not wish for my part to be positive as to whether such dislocations occur or not, though I can say something on the subject. Nor have I ever seen anything that seemed to me a dislocation forwards. Practitioners, indeed, think forward dislocation often happens, and they are especially deceived in cases where there is wasting of the flesh about the joint and arm, for in all such the head of the humerus has an obvious projection forwards. In such a case I myself once got into disrepute both with practitioners and the public by denying that this appearance was a dislocation. I seemed to them the only person ignorant of what the others recognised, and found it hardly possible to make them understand that the case was as follows:—Suppose one laid bare the point of the shoulder of the fleshy parts from the arm, and also denuded it at the part where the muscle1 is attached, and laid bare the tendon stretching along the armpit and collar-bone to the chest, the head of the humerus would be seen to have a strongly marked projection forwards, though not dislocated. For the head of the humerus is naturally inclined forwards,

  • 1Deltoid.
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.hippocrates_cos-fractures_joints_mochlicon_joints.1928