'Luxation' traction table, Italy, 1521-1570

Made:
1521-1570 in Italy
maker:
Unknown

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Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

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Luxation table, Italian, mid 16th century. Full 3/4 view, graduated grey background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Luxation table, Italian, mid 16th century. Full view, 3/4, graduated grey background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Luxation table, Italian, mid 16th century. End view, hard dramatic lighting. Grey background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Copy of Pare's operating table, 16th century. Full 3/4 view, graduated grey background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Luxation table, Italian, mid 16th century

'Luxation' means the complete dislocation of a joint. This luxation table has poles at each end for stretching a body, realigning dislocated joints or treating spinal injuries. It was a popular treatment throughout history up to the Middle Ages. The body was tied at the feet and hands, or sometimes around the waist, to the poles at either end of the table. Handles were attached to these poles and slowly turned to obtain the level of force needed to realign the joint.

A contemporary illustration suggests this table may be a ‘Hippocrates Traction Table’ and used vertically rather than its current horizontal alignment. This theory is supported by the turned table legs being a later addition. The square holes may have held pegs to treat people of varying height. It is thought a family of Indian peasants used the table as an ordinary dining table for many years.

Details

Category:
Surgery
Object Number:
A602010
Materials:
fittings, iron, wood
type:
traction table
status:
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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