'Spinal Babies' poem, England, 1950-1970
This poem once hung on the wall of a ward in the Lord Mayor Treloar Orthopaedic Hospital in Alton, Hampshire, England. Founded in 1908, the hospital was originally opened to provide specialised treatment for children with orthopaedic conditions, mainly caused by tuberculosis and, later, polio. The hospital combined treatment of the physically disabled with education and schooling. Treatment for conditions such as polio and scoliosis – curvature of the spine – included bed rest and plaster casts to encourage the bones to grow in the correct alignment.
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Glossary: plaster cast
The branch of medicine concerned with the preservation and restoration of the muscular and skeletal systems in the body.
An infectious disease that is caused by a bacterium first identified by Robert Koch in 1882. The disease usually affects the lungs first, and is accompanied by a chronic cough.
An infectious disease affecting the central nervous system. Affected individuals can exhibit a range of symptoms if the polio virus enters the blood stream.