Title: Henderson, J.

Source text: The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion. (1861-65.), Part 3, Volume 2 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1883), 822.

Keywords:wounds and complicationstetanusamputation after tetanic symptomswounded in knee by musket ballball shattered head of fibula and posterior surface of tibia, lodging between gastrocnemius and soleus musclestetanusrigidity of jaw muscles, difficult mastication and deglutitionamputation at lower third of thighfitted with artificial limb

Civil War Washington ID: med.d2e28528

TEI/XML: med.d2e28528.xml

CASE 1202.—Sergeant J. Henderson, Co. A, 126th New York, aged 29 years, was wounded in the right knee, at Spottsylvania​, May 10, 1864, by a musket ball, which shattered the head of the fibula and the posterior surface of the tibia, lodging between the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles. He was admitted to Finley Hospital, Washington, two weeks after the injury, the wound appearing healthy and his general condition being good. A day or two afterwards the patient complained of soreness in the throat, and on May 29th marked symptoms of tetanus, such as rigidity of the muscles of the jaw and difficulty of mastication and deglutition, existed. On May 30th circular amputation at the lower third of the thigh was performed by Acting Assistant Surgeon F. G. H. Bradford, immediate relief seeming to be afforded by the operation. The following day the rigidity of the muscles had partly disappeared and improvement continued until the patient was entirely relieved. Further progress in every respect continued favorable and the stump healed. The probable cause of the appearance of tetanus was owing to a slight laceration of the external popliteal nerve, produced by the ball in its passage through the limb. On August 1, 1865, the patient was discharged from service and pensioned, having been previously fitted with a "Jewett" artificial limb. The upper portion of the bones of the amputated leg, showing the seat and extent of the injury, were contributed to the Museum, with the history of the case, by the operator.