A sanatorium in a world of its ownBMJ 2010; 340 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c2928 (Published 03 June 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2928
- Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor
I was about 11 years old when I saw my first case of Pott’s disease of the spine. My best friend of the time, who was paraplegic from polio, had been admitted to an orthopaedic hospital for an operation. It was a fine summer, and a young man, about six years older than we, was left out in the sunshine in his bed every day, his lower trunk encased in a plaster cast. The sun’s rays were deemed complementary to the drugs and immobility that were to cure him.
Much later in my career I saw many cases of Pott’s, in a far distant land where the patients came to us only after all the …