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Amputation

Discussion in 'Research' started by DragonOfTheAerie, Oct 28, 2016.

  1. Russ

    Russ Istar

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    Great article in the jan/feb 2017 issue of Medieval Warfare about a guy named Gotz who had his right hand amputated after a really bad wound. He was about 25 at the time and eventually learned to fight with his left. The article has great detail on the weight and design of his prothesis etc, I highly recommend it if you are serious about this issue.

    Apparently the amputation left this very tough son of a gun in bed for about 7 months (from July to next Feb).
     
  2. elemtilas

    elemtilas Sage

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    Yeah, maggots are fun! They do a good job of it, too, but you do have to pick em off the wound once they've finished dining. Just apply fresh ones as needed!

    Some things to consider:

    As for amputation at the shoulder, I would suspect a devastating wound -- a crushing blow of some kind -- along the upper arm with no means of fixing it any other way. The muscle is badly damaged and the bone is fragmented. A good recipe for embolism which is very dangerous.

    If the whole arm is removed, right up to the joint, that's technically a disarticulation. Just pull the whole thing right off. A cut any lower will be an amputation. An axe or hatchet would work, but then the operation is every bit as savage a butchery as the initial wound. A disarticulation could be done with a dagger or small knife, in the absence of a surgeon, because all you're really doing is yanking on what's left of the arm and slicing through all the tendons and cartilage around the shoulder joint. No bone work means no saw (or sword) required. Honestly, knives and swords don't do very well when cutting through bone anyway; and a sword would be overkill for the job of disarticulation, especially when you've got any number of knives and daggers right to hand.

    Just take care to leave enough muscle to shove up into the joint (provides padding) and skin (to cover the wound). Apply hot irons (or whatever tool you have handy) to cauterize the vessels, lay the skin flap over the wound and bind him up securely until he can be evacuated to whatever passes for skilled medical treatment in this setting! If it's anything like medieval era care, he'll have a good chance of dying from the doctor's care and the infections he'll bring along to the case more than from the wound itself.
     
  3. ALB2012

    ALB2012 Maester

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    Agreed with most of above posts - IF the subject didn't bleed out or die of shock infection would be the likely killer. It wasn't certain - people did live with the loss of limbs - but would be pretty likely. If your team has alcohol - that can be used to clean (if it's a spirit), or to knock out the patient. After all the subject probably doesn't want to be awake, and those carrying out the proceedure don't want some wriggling, screaming patient.

    Yes there would be psychological wounds
     
  4. Rkcapps

    Rkcapps Sage

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    I can speak from the experience of losing the ability to lose the ability to use my right arm (I was right handed before) but by a stroke. An OT told me it takes years to relearn writing. When I stand my right arm hangs so my core muscles have to turn on to stop my body twisting. This may or may not apply to an amputee. I'm slowly learning to do more with my left hand but a stroke is very different to an amputee. With an amputee, their body still receives brain signals.

    The psychological damage would be something you can imagine. If you had a limb one day and it was gone the next, how would you feel? Initially, you may fret for your health. How would your self image be? There are moments of pure frustration to explore, maybe just drinking is hard with a non-dominant hand? There will be moments of wishing for a life before the amputation. Is your character so affected it makes life crush them?

    I definitely heard amputees complaining of phantom pain but someone mentioned looking at literature. That's a great idea.

    They call the amputated site a stump and bandages need regular changing. There is a certain pressure required for bandages. Google it.

    There is a lot to consider. Knowledge will lend you depth. Good luck!
     
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