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Avast, Me Hearties!

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And now some lighter fare for your Friday afternoon…I got an interesting bit from my friends at the American College of emergency Physicians yesterday. These are the same folks who turned me on to the issue of kung-fu colitis, which people in my mixed martial arts class found pretty entertaining. Regardless…

Today’s bit is about an interesting bit of pirate-inspired medicine, believe it or not. Pirates, of course have been out in front of modern medical treatment and recompense before, having pioneered a rudimentary form of workers compensation during the days of the Spanish Main, where buccaneers who suffered permanently debilitating injuries on the work site, as it were, could receive some kind of lump-sum payment to offset their missing body part.

As it turns out, we have pirates to thank for a bit of medical treatment that is enjoying a renaissance today – hip relocation. Modern hip relocation – popping a dislocated hip back into place – typicall involves a medical technician standing above the patient, bent over, and pulling the leg up and back, so that it eventually pops back into place. Like so:

According to ACEP, however, this entails risk to both the patient and the provider, as this stance poses an obvious slip and fall exposure for the provider. In such a case, the patient could be injured as well, if that leg gets further wrenched during the fall. As somebody who just this month underwent successful chiropractic treatment for hip pain myself (note to self: get a much better computer chair at home), I can appreciate how painful hip injuries can be, and how badly you need ‘em fixed when they occur. The thought of a nurse falling off the gurney while fixing me up is about as appealing a concept as having S&P decide to evaluate my daughter’s allowance schedule.

A safer and more effective method, ACEP points out, is the “Captain Morgan” method, which has been inspired by the classic stance you see in a Captain Morgan’s rum ad, only instead of standing on a keg, you’re standing on the gurney with your leg under the patient’s leg. The relocation takes place in a much more controlled stance, giving the provider a better balance in what looks to be a fairly high-impact bit of jointwork.

You can see a video of the Captain Morgan procedure here. When I first saw it, I lamented that there was no sound to the video. Once I saw the hip pop back in, though, I was glad I couldn’t hear it, too.


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