The Edwin Smith Papyrus
Case Eight
COMPOUND COMMINUTED FRACTURE OF THE SKULL DISPLAYING NO VISIBLE EXTERNAL INJURY

TITLE: Instructions concerning a smash in his skull under the skin of his head.

EXAMINATION: If thou examinest a man having a smash of his skull, under the skin of his of his head, while there is nothing at all upon it, thou shouldst palpate his wound. Shouldst thou find that there is a swelling protruding on the outside of that smash which is in his skull, while his eye is askew because of it, on the side of him having that injury which is in his skull; (and) he walks shuffling with his sole. on the side of him having that injury which is in his skull.

DIAGNOSIS: Thou shouldst account him one whom something entering from outside has smitten, as one who does not release the head of his shoulder fork and one who dons not fall with his nails in the middle of his palm; while he discharges blood from both his nostrils (and) from both his ears, (and) he suffers in his neck. An ailment not to be treated.

TREATMENT: His treatment is sitting, until he gains color, (and) until thou knowest he has reached the decisive point.

SECOND EXAMINATION: Now as soon as thou findest that smash which is in his skull like those corrugations which form on molten cooper, (and) something therein throbbing and fluttering under thy fingers like the weak place of an infant's crown before it knits together -- when it has happened there is no throbbing and fluttering under thy fingers, until the brain of his (the patient's) skull is rent open -- (and) he discharges blood from both his nostrils and both his ears, (and) he suffers with stiffness in his neck.

SECOND DIAGNOSIS: Thou shouldst say: "An ailment not to be treated."

NOTE A: As for: "A smash in his skull under the skin of his head, there being no wound at all upon it," it means a smash of the shell of his skull, the flesh of his head being uninjured.

NOTE B: As for: "He walks shuffling with his sole." he (the surgeon) is speaking about his walking with his sole dragging, so that it is not easy for him to walk, when it (the sole) is feeble and turned over, while the tips of his toes are contracted to the ball of his sole and they (the toes) walk fumbling the ground. He (the surgeon) says: "He shuffles," concerning it.

NOTE C: As for: "One whom something entering from outside has smitten on the side of him having this injury, it means one whom something entering from outside presses, on the side of him having this injury.

NOTE D: As for: "Something entering from outside," it means the breath of an outside god or death; not the intrusion of something which his flesh engenders.

NOTE E: As for: "One who does not release the head of his shoulderfork and who does not fall with his nails in the middle of his palm ," it means that he says: "One to whom the head of his shoulder-fork is not given, and one who does not fall with his nails in the middle of his palm."

case seven
index of The Edwin Smith Papyrus
case nine

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