May 06, 2013

Horse 1477 - Revenge Of The Sixth

Dexter Hallux - Crime Lord

Comminuted Fracture of Distal Phalanx at the IP of the Dexter Hallux.
That's what the full description of a Busted Right Big Toe is and I think that it's kind of cool. To be honest I don't feel particularly brave about it because there's so little pain, I really don't care very much. It's about the  same as most other bruises.

Comminuted - Comminution is the process by which things are crushed, separated or made smaller. The only other place that I've really heard of this word is to do with mineralogy and given that bones themselves are calcium deposits, it seems rather appropriate.

Distal - Distal, meaning the far one; as opposed to the proximal which means the close one. In our fingers we have intermediate phalanges which means the... yeah... you get the idea.

Phalanx - The word Phalanx in Ancient Greek literally means a finger. The Phalanx Formation which was prominent in Greek armies also refers to the pikes which stuck out of their tight knit units; rather like so many fingers. By the time of the Roman Empire, Phalanxes had developed further into even tighter knit Testudo (turtle) formations.

IP - Interphalangeal - in between bits of the Phalanges.

Dexter - Dexter is a Latin term and not Greek and means the cardinal direction "right". The opposite of Dexter in Latin is Sinister. During the classic period of Latin (particularly about the time of Trajan and Hadrian), the word Sinister took on the meaning of unlucky whilst Dexter morphed into something right and proper. It could be though, that left-handed people genuinely are sinister and evil... maybe there's an experiment that could be designed to prove such a hypothesis. Incidentally, all Roman Soldiers carried their swords in their right hands, so all of them were Dextrous.

Hallux - Big Toe. The thumb is called the Pollux. Curiously the word Poll which means to take a vote, does not come from the Latin for thumbs up or thumbs down but from the Middle Low German of Pol which means the head.

All of these words put together means that I don't get to play football for six weeks... in Latin that's luctificus or woeful.

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