May 17th, 2007


Crippling Injuries and Limping

I've hit a bit of a roadblock in my research and was hoping that the lovely members here might be able to help me out.

I have a character who, for plot purposes, will be tortured for being a spy. Ideally, I want the torture to be such that the result would be a noticeable limp for the rest of his life and the use of a cane/walking stick to walk. I'd prefer the injury be to the foot if possible. However, I am ignorant about the finer points of human anatomy and so unsure about how plausible certain things would be. The story is set in 1804 which is another hurdle to get over since I'm aware of how saw-happy surgeons were at the time and I don't want this character's limb amputated. The torture is supposed to occur in Spain. I've looked up 'foot torture devices', 'crippling foot injuries', 'injuries to the foot' and have not been happy with the results.

The only torture devices/methods I've found were bastinado and the boot - I doubt bastinado would actually be severe enough for what I need and I'm not sure if they ever just booted one foot so... My other searches turn up fruitless for, even after doing boolean searches with '-sports' the results are useless; evidently in the modern world, the only non-sports-related foot problems humans have to worry about are bunions, calluses, and ingrown toenails.

Any and all help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you :)