Friday, August 19, 2011

Booty: Hip Action

My dear friend and long time supporter of Triple P Laurel sent me a news story via NPR that included an interesting new use for the now famous “Captain Morgan Stance” that the rum brand has hitched their wagon to for close to a decade. Shunned by the NFL but embraced by those who care to “join the Captain”, it seems that the science of medicine has found a new way to use the one-leg-up-whether-there’s-something-under-that-foot-or-not pose: reducing dislocated hips.

As the article notes, the dislocation of such a large ball-and-socket joint is excruciating. Fortunately, it is also rather unusual in active, healthy individuals. Athletes who play contact sports like hockey, rugby and football are about the only ones who might run the risk of such injuries. Aside from that, the most common cause is violent accidents such as vehicle collisions. The problem, as anyone who has ever dislocated a shoulder knows, is that the limb is left hanging with no means of support while the nerves around the joint scream in agony. Now imagine trying to bear weight on the limb and you can see how bad a dislocated hip really is. The other problem is that a large joint requires some serious manhandling to get it back into place. As the article notes, the most common attack is for a physician to straddle the patient on a bed or gurney, hold the uninjured leg down and force the ball back into its socket with the injured leg at a 90 degree angle. It’s dangerous for the doctor and pure torture for the patient.

A recent study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine showed that it is possible to have a patient assume a Morganesque stance, with their uninjured leg’s foot on the floor and their injured leg’s foot resting on a bench or step-stool, for reduction of the dislocation. This approach may be less traumatic to the patient and is almost certainly safer for the doctor. The unfortunate caveat of the study is that there is no proof, as yet, that this approach is in any way better for the patient than the doctor-up-on-the-gurney maneuver.

Dr. Hendey of UC San Francisco, Fresno notes in the article that he and his staff have been using this new technique for a year or two. It wasn’t until he saw a commercial for Captain Morgan’s Rum that he realized the similarity. “… it just struck me that that’s the position we do,” he said.

So there you have it, Brethren; rum saves the day once again. I’ve a sneaking hunch that it probably saved more than one true pirate with a dislocated joint back in the Golden Age as well. Happy Friday to one and all, and many thanks to Laurel as always.

Header: Captain Morgan by Don Maitz


Timmy! said...

Ahoy, Pauline! having personally experienced several shoulder dislocations, just reading that bit about the "doctor-up-on-the-gurney maneuver" made me wince... Please pass the rum!

Pauline said...

It does sound very unpleasant and the article - perhaps mercifully - does not mention how sedated any given patient would be during that procedure.

Charles L. Wallace said...

Sedated? Yes, please ;-)
(Guessing the grog would get foregone in such a situation, in favour of the straight stuff).

Pauline said...

I'm thinking laudanum, frankly, but beggars can't be choosers. Better a dislocated leg than a gangrenous one, I suppose.