A little background…
Post-thrombotic syndrome, also known as post-phlebitic syndrome, is a common complication of deep-vein thrombosis (or in every day language a really nasty blood clot in a vein, typically those deep in the leg). These days it is recognized by the medical profession that there is no cure, and treatment to alleviate pain is a long-term commitment. But that’s not to say they didn’t have a solution back in the 1800s (or so they thought).
For those sufferers back in the day, the fleam (as seen here) was used for what was known as “The Phlebotical Operation”. The operation was a simple fix; it basically required making a series of 1 or 2 inch parallel gashes to drain the victims (I mean patient’s) blood. Barbaric you say? We’ll have to agree, in fact the instrument was originally a preferred instrument used by veterinarians.