Ceramic teaching doll showing orthopaedic treatments, England, 1930-1950
The ceramic teaching doll was probably used to show child patients and their family the child’s upcoming treatment for an orthopaedic condition affecting the bones and joints. The brace on the doll’s back suggests the treatment may be for scoliosis – curvature of the spine. The external splint on her foot is for a condition called drop-foot, where the ankle and toes turn upwards. The letters “LMTH” stitched into the pillow stand for the Lord Mayor Treloar Hospital in Alton, Hampshire, England. Set up in 1908, the hospital combined treatment of the physically disabled with education and schooling for long term patients. The hospital closed in the 1990s.
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Glossary: teaching doll
The branch of medicine concerned with the preservation and restoration of the muscular and skeletal systems in the body.
A rigid device of plastic, wood or plaster that serves to immobilize or support an injury. Generally strapped alongside an injured limb.
Glossary: drop foot
A condition where the foot and toes cannot be turned upwards, or at right angles to the leg. This results in an abnormal way of walking.