Detailed guides to painful problems, treatments & more

The body electric: electromagnetism and the foundation of life

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a page in a book
Robert O Becker and Gary Selden
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p. 118 (Trade paperback edition)


To many biologists and physicians, bones are pretty dull. They seem like a bunch of scarecrow sticks in which nothing much happens, plain props for a subtler architecture. Many of my patients were in sad shape because doctors had failed to realize that bone is a living tissue that has to be treated with respect. It’s a common misconception that orthopedic surgery is like carpentry. All you have to do is put a recalcitrant fracture together with screws, plates or nails; if the pieces are firmly fixed after surgery, you’re done. Nothing could be further from the truth. No matter how firmly you hold them together, the pieces will come loose and the limb can’t be used if the bone doesn’t heal.