Internists dislike dirtying their hands. They invent terms like "plumber" for urologists and "carpenter" for orthopedists. It was only natural that when the internists took over arthritis, they would look for a cerebral approach to its treatment. Various drugs were tried, some with success, though a cure remained elusive. Manipulation of joints grew into the specialty of physical medicine, and not only the physiatrist but the orthopedic surgeon as well was now invited back to help treat arthritis. A team of specialists thus supplanted the general practitioner. Many surgeons feared splints would produce ankylosis of inflamed joints. Most internists accepted this prohibition for the simple reason that they had no experience with splints. But splints had been used in the treatment of arthritis previously, as Mrs. Rotstein recounts in her charming historical essay that opens this short book.
Dr. Rotstein takes over on page 20 and, after two brief chapters,