Infections of the extremities, especially of the fingers and toes, may eventuate in such distressing economic catastrophies that they should have a degree of care equivalent to that bestowed on serious abdominal or cranial injuries.
Taking for example a thecal whitlow, I have until recently followed the usual teaching of making a large incision and have even made it larger than at first sight seemed necessary because of the treacherous course of this infection. There followed, in severe cases, prolonged healing of the wound with ultimately more or less crippling. The patient was kept away from his work a long time, and was handicapped when he finally did return to work.
In an inaugural address on Bier's hyperemic treatment, Waterhouse1 aims at "the employment of a less severe and less mutilating operation than would otherwise be necessary—thus, the required incisions may be few and small instead of many and