Length: 39.500 cm (max.)
Excavated by the
Bone with a badly healed fracture
From Abydos, Egypt
New Kingdom, about 1550-1070 BC
Evidence of diseases and injuries can be found in both mummies and skeletons from ancient Egypt. Among the most common injuries are fractures. Most of these heal well, and the injured limb functioned normally once it had healed. From the Old Kingdom (about 2613-2160 BC) onwards, wooden splints were used to prevent the bones from moving, and to discourage the injured person from using the limb while it healed.
However, there were no plaster casts to support the bone and prevent it taking any weight. This meant that if any weight was put on the limb, the two ends of the bone might slip past each other and fuse out of alignment, as has happened with this bone. The healed limb would have been completely sound, but considerably shorter than the uninjured leg, so that the individual would have walked with a permanent limp.
to the thigh bones were less common than those to the arms, but
required a longer period of healing.
J. Filer, Disease, (Egyptian Bookshelf) (London, The British Museum Press, 1995)