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Dr. J.M. Littlejohn’s Orthopaedics



Dr. J.M. Littlejohn’s Lectures on Orthopaedics commences “Properly speaking, orthopaedics deals with deformities of the child but in practice it covers all forms of deformity in the spine and extremities.  The foundation is in the inherent weakness of the spine which results from some abnormal development.  At birth, the musculo‑vertebtral column is free from architectural defect, the spinal reflexes are absent, the activity of the voluntary nervous system is at a minimum, so that voluntary muscular control is impossible.  It is only when this control begins to show in the spine that the typical curves begin to form.  Hence we can lay down two propositions: (1) If the brain development with the spine accessorily is normal in the child, the normal curves are established early but, (2) As deficiency develops in the cerebro spinal nervous system the curves become more atypical, indicating that outside trauma all treatment should be directed to the C.S.N.S.

It must be emphasized that the motor nerve supply to the vertebral tissues is of supreme importance and if we are to obtain the correct foundation on which to build the normal spine we must look to this mechanism after the appearance of the physiological curves.  In a high proportion of cases the muscular vertebral column is weak at puberty and is to be localized in the intrinsic nervous mechanism.  That is to say, the central nervous system is equal to the task of making the spine normal, but the spinal and accessory nervous mechanism is too weak to make this possible.  Therefore, it can be said that the vertebral column as a whole is structurally and functionally normal in development, but that functionally it is inadequate to maintain the integrity of the muscular system in and around the spine, so that, functionally, it is unable to bear the weight of the body as and when it assumes the postural erect position.”

Orthopaedics edited by John Wernham from Dr. J.M. Littlejohn’s lectures covers the subjects Sprains; Dislocations; Shoulder; Lower Extremities; Ankle; Knee; Hip; The Sacral Plexus; The Locked Lesion; Postural Integrity; The Development of Posture; The Lumbo-Sacral Area; and Relation of Accommodation and Compensation to Deformity.

To read more of “Dr J.M Littlejohn Lecture’s on Orthopaedics” you can purchase a copy from the JWCCO Bookshop for £15 here:

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