skazka (samgrass) wrote in little_details,

15th century facial injuries and ensuing scars

This is for a story that I may never finish, so I'm not sure if it's even worth the hassle of pursuing, but here goes.

I've got someone in my canon who takes a bodkin-point arrow to the face and survives, and this person happens to be (or will be, you've probably already guessed) Henry V. The surgeon treating him, John Bradmore, left a fairly detailed record of the immediate treatment for this, including the actual arrowhead extraction and to an extent the process of healing afterward. But anything about long-term health effects or visible scars is kind of up to speculation, so I'm trying to fill in the blanks with something more than "it might have been gnarly". (The question of whether there might have been related brain damage later is an interesting one, but not really what I want to ask, for now.)

How does this kind of penetrating injury heal in the first place? (As far as the internal site of the injury goes, Bradmore seems to have been really damn careful to make sure it closed up over time gradually by using smaller and smaller probes, but he's more interested in describing his technique and choice of antiseptics than outlining to a layperson what the overall process is like.) What might any resultant scar reasonably be said to look like? I've encountered a lot of speculating that there was one in the first place and that it might have been striking, but what determines how a scar from this kind of injury turns out? I imagine some of it is just chance or genetics, but how much is due to the way the wound is treated, even if there's no later infection? Even on a basic level, is it more likely to be sunken or raised? (My own face scars are all indented, and have faded from reddish to the same color as surrounding skin over time, but they're from injuries that didn't penetrate nearly as deeply as Hal's.) Even if there's nothing that can be determined here besides "well, it might have been like this", that's still really helpful.

Terms Googled: various permutations of stuff related to the specific historical case, which turned up a lot of very interesting stuff about the arrowhead extraction -- if that would be useful to anyone with relevant medical expertise, there's accounts quoted here and more extensively here.) Modern gunshot injuries are pretty damn different, I would imagine, and if there's anything related to arrow scars in general out there, it's (understandably) buried under Google results related to the CW, so I don't know where to look.

If any of this is badly-phrased, confused, or insensitively worded, I'm so sorry! Thanks in advance, anyone who knows about this.
Tags: 1400-1499, ~medicine: injuries: historical

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