‘Jumpy Stump’: Amputation and Trauma During the First World War

Anderson, Julie (2015) ‘Jumpy Stump’: Amputation and Trauma During the First World War. First World War Studies, 6 (1). pp. 9-19. ISSN 1947-5020. E-ISSN 1947-5039. (doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/19475020.2015.1016581) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19475020.2015.1016581

Abstract

This paper focuses on British soldier's experience of amputation, as it was one of the more common and physically traumatic experiences of war. This paper brings together not just the soldier's experience of the physical wounding of amputation, but the emotional experience of traumatic injury. Much of the historiography has separated the physical wound from emotional trauma, and this paper endeavours to bring them together. The experience of amputation and the emotions associated with recovery, fears about employment and loss of social status combined to create anxiety. Emotional reactions to amputation were understood to bring on conditions such as jumpy stump, as a manifestation of repressed trauma. Instead of rejecting this show of emotion as expressed by the stump, orthopaedic surgeons, in the main, accepted the reaction of the stump and worked with the patients to aid them in controlling this manifestation of trauma. In a similar vein to other non-specialists in psychiatry, orthopaedic surgeons in amputation hospitals diagnosed and devised their own methods for dealing with the mentally traumatic aspects of wounding. Healing wounds was of vital importance, and the stump and its repair remained the central focus. The manifestation of emotional trauma was treated as a side-effect of the physical injury, as the body was often more easily cured than the mind. The doctor and the patient's intimate relationship with the stump provided it with a wide range of meanings, constructions and representations.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: amputation, trauma, emotion, stump, orthopaedic
Subjects: D History General and Old World
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: M.R.L. Hurst
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2016 12:21 UTC
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2016 16:53 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/54088 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Anderson, Julie: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7131-3704
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