This volume, comprising essays on orthopedic surgery by Dr. Newton M. Shaffer, is typical of the writings of his day. They were mainly published in the late seventies and eighties of the nineteenth century.
It is particularly interesting to read the essays on chronic joint diseases, dealing with hip joint, ankle and spine. Shaffer's contention that conservatism is to be preferred to radicalism, is borne out by the present day teaching. At the time of his writings there was a wave of radicalism, in the treatment of tuberculous joints, sweeping the surgical world, particularly in hip joint disease, where excision was being widely advocated. Shaffer took the stand and proved that his results were better by conservative means than by operative procedures. The old controversy in the treatment of the hip joint diseases was then waging, that is, fixation versus extension, and the author's stand here again is borne out