Title: Ross, C.
Source text: The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion. (1861-65.), Part 2, Volume 2 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1876), 538.
Civil War Washington ID: med.d2e31411
CASE 1510.—Private C. Ross, Co. H, 90th Pennsylvania, aged 19 years, was wounded at Spottsylvania, May 10, 1864. He was treated in a Fifth Corps field hospital for a few days, and was then sent to Washington, and entered Douglas Hospital. Assistant Surgeon W. F. Norris, U. S. A., contributed the specimen (Cat. Surg. Sect., 1866, p. 85, Spec. 4278), and a photograph represented by FIGURE 4 of PLATE XVIII, with the following history: "Admitted, May 14, 1864, with a comminuted fracture of the head of the left humerus. The patient had a good deal of irritative fever, and his strength appeared to fail rapidly under the profuse suppuration from the wound. It was, therefore, determined to resect the head of the humerus, and the operation was performed by Assistant Surgeon W. Thomson, U. S. A., then in charge of the hospital, by a straight vertical incision; there was but little loss of blood. The patient soon recovered from the shock of the operation, and continued steadily to improve in health and strength. The wound had entirely healed by the 20th of September. At this date, July 29th, 1865, he has a very useful arm, the motions and strength of the forearm, hand, and elbow joint being as good as in the uninjured side. He can raise the hand to the mouth." The patient was able to do good service in the kitchen and hospital from November, 1864, until August 21, 1865, when he was discharged from service and pensioned. The specimen consists of the head of the humerus in a number of small fragments, excised at the surgical neck. A card photograph, showing the appearance of the arm after recovery, stands with the specimen. Examiner W. W. Potter, of Washington, October 10, 1868, reported: "Has received a gunshot wound of the left shoulder; a minié ball transfixed the head of the humerus from before backward, rendering resection of four and a half inches of the humerus necessary, including the head of the bone, thus destroying the utility of the joint." The disability was rated as total. This man's pension was paid to the National Military Asylum, at Milwaukee, to September 4, 1874, he being an inmate of that Asylum. In September, 1873, a Board, consisting of Examiners E. Kramer, J. H. Stearns, and J. B. Brown, of Milwaukie, reported: "There was resection of the head of the left humerus with four inches of the shaft of the bone;" but the condition of the joint is left to conjecture. An analogous and contemporaneous case, treated on the expectant plan,¹ may be compared with this.
¹ See CASE 1470, on page 505, ante, the case of Private J. Keenan (FIG. 380). A comparison of the results in these two cases led several surgeons of much experience in the excision of joints to modify, to some extent, their judgments regarding operative interference after shot comminutions of the head of the humerus.