Mummified bodies, wall paintings and hieroglyphics, have shown us that the people of the Egyptian age suffered from the same problems that we suffer today. They also show us some of the orthopaedic practices of that time. Splints have been found on mummies and they were made of bamboo, reeds, wood or bark, padded with linen. There is also evidence of the use of crutches, with the earliest known record of the use of a crutch coming from a carving made in 2830 BC on the entrance of a portal on Hirkouf's tomb.
Perhaps the most important source describing the practices of the Ancient Egyptians comes from a papyrus, which was stolen from a tomb in 1862. The papyrus was then sold to an American Egyptologist by the name of Edwin Smith and so is sometimes known as the Edwin Smith papyrus. The author is not known, but believed to be Imhotep. Imhotep was seen as a genius of his time. He was a physician, an architect, an astrologer, and a chief minister and there is no knowing in Egypt and Greece, with some evidence that he received this status only 100 years after his death.
In the papyrus, the examination of peripheral was described together with an understanding that pulses reflected the action of the heart from which vessels went to the limbs. In this papyrus, injuries were classified according to their prognosis into three categories: an ailment which they would treat, an ailment that they would contend and an ailment which they would not treat. The papyrus also mentioned many cases and the treatment involved. These include, reducing a dislocated mandible, the signs of spinal injuries, and the signs of torticollis, the treatment of a fractured clavicle as well as signs and treatment of other fractures. Discharge was referred to as "ryt", this is presumably the pus of osteomyelitis.