I'm reading about amputations, specifically the spread of Pirogov's "heel-conserving" technique, and I came across the following passage in the Philadelphia Medical Times of March 1, 1889:
Dr. Woodbury called attention to the observations of Agille, in which it is stated that the prognosis of pulmonary tuberculosis is improved by an amputation, the larger the better. It seems as if the nutritive powers are insufficient for the needs of the whole body, but may suffice if a large part has been removed.So, as a treatment for a contagious bacterial infection which involves the lungs, nowadays usually treated over a course of half a year with a quartet of heavy-hitting drugs, one recommended strategy was lopping off major body parts! Given that nutrition and rest were then the only ways known to respond to the symptoms of the disease, which include unitentional weight loss and fatigue, I suppose it seems logical in context to "relieve the stress" on the damaged lungs by giving them less body to breathe for, but I do wonder how often doctors recommended leg removal as a remedy for TB? And how often patients agreed to this draconian measure?