This organ may be displaced from its normal position, and may occupy a position much below the normal. This is caused by a direct blow or severe muscular strain, which stretches or tears its supports; by tight lacing; by the hypertrophy of the organ from disease, or by the influence of intra-abdominal tumors or enlargements, or from the pregnant womb. In determining whether the movable organ is the spleen or the kidney, the splenic notch must be discovered by palpation. There will be absence of splenic dulness in the normal locality of the spleen. The kidney is smaller and harder and imparts a greater sense of resistance to the fingers. The condition is treated by replacing the organ, and by the careful application of a bandage with a pad which shall retain it in its position. The patient should be obliged to occupy a recumbent position for considerable time, and should not rise from that position while the bandage is removed. During this time, if the organ is enlarged, the measures advised for the cure of that condition should be resorted to. The persistent application of heat is as important in the reduction of enlargement of the spleen as in enlargement of the liver. Surgical measures are advised for the support of this organ, but the results have not been as satisfactory as could be desired.
The Eclectic Practice of Medicine with especial reference to the Treatment of Disease, 1910, was written by Finley Ellingwood, M.D.