Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Retractor

Or two. If you heard the retractor story here, this is what I was talking about. The one on the left would have been used on the upper arm or thigh, and the one on the right used on the lower arm or lower leg.

Or, as I said to one gentle guest who asked me what they were (when my group had the folly of leaving me alone in camp):

“I’ve forgotten what they’re called, but they’re for amputations.”

“Amputations??” (The guest, looking puzzled, doesn’t see a cutting blade, and is wondering what I’m talking about.)

“Yes. It’s for the meat.”


“Yes. You slide this over the bone (pointing to the hole), and grab the ends like this, and pull back to get the meat out of the way so they can saw off the damaged part.”

Yeah. They try not to leave me alone in camp anymore.


  1. Ah. For some reason I was thinking some sort of big gnarly pliers.

  2. Those are unusual looking retractors. The ones I've seen have all been metal and shaped sort of like curved forks. However, back in colonial times, they were probably much different.

    Meat, muscle, it's all the same!

  3. TOTWTYR --

    Those would be regular tissue retractors you are thinking of. The Colonial ones (Heck, the Roman ones) look pretty much teh saem today.

    However, the leather amputation retractors are designed to retract the tissue evenly in SECONDS, becuase speed was the only way to minimize pain or improve outcome.