Patient Case Study: Norman, Francis John

In-patient, 1854


Hospital Dorset County Hospital Patient type In-patient
Number 2879 Date admitted 20 Mar 1854
Name Norman, Francis Renewed
Age 30 Under whose care Mr. Curme
Occupation Carpenter Disease Comp[oun]d dislocat[io]n of ankle joint
Parish Frampton Discharged 29 Mar 1854
Recommended by Admitted as accident Outcome Cured
Source Dorset History Centre, Dorset County Hospital in-patient admissions register 1847-59, NG/HH/DO(C)/5/2/1



  1. 1851 census – Francis J. Norman, ag. labourer, aged 28, born Frampton, unmarried, living in the home of his father, Lewis Norman, farm lab, in Frampton. [The National Archives, 1851 census, HO107/1858, folio 485, p. 11]
  1. “AMPUTATIONS. Of the Leg. … Case 17.–A man, aged 30, under the care of Mr. Curme, in the Dorset County Hospital. In March, 1854, he had suffered a compound dislocation of the foot outwards, the tibia protruding two or three inches. The dislocation was reduced, and the leg being swung in a Salter’s apparatus and a liberal diet allowed favourable progress resulted. Much sloughing occurred during the first week ; but subsequently the wounds almost healed, leaving sinuses, however, which led down to bare bone. It was concluded, from the extent of bone which could be felt through the several openings, that the whole lower extremity of the tibia was in a state of caries ; and as, after nearly a year’s treatment, the diseased portion showed no tendency to separate, amputation was determined on. It was performed through the lower third of the leg, and a very good recovery ensued. The examination of the removed extremity showed the lower end of the tibia, about three inches and a half long, quite dead, separated from the shaft, and inclosed in a thin shell of new bone. The fibula was soundly united where it had been broken, its lower extremity being also anchylosed to the side of the astragalus. The astragalus and os calcis were also united by anchyloses.” [Statistical report of the principle operations performed during the quarter ending March, 1855. Medical Times & Gazette, 1855, new series, vol. 10, pp. 571-72]

Comment: While the report in the Medical Times & Gazette purports to cover operations performed during January-March 1855, it is clear that this case relates to 1854.