History of Prosthetics

Prosthetics is basically the process of design, construction, and attachment of artificial limbs and other systems to replace the function of missing body parts usually lost through (but not limited too) trauma, disease, or congenital conditions. Prosthetics isn’t a new development to the world. One of the earliest mentions of it being used was in the Greek and Roman times. One example, Marcus Sergius, a roman general lost his right hand while battling in the second Punic War. He had his hand replaced with an iron one for the purpose of holding his shield. This allowed him to return to the battle and continue fighting. 

prosthetic-limb-2

This prosthetic toe dates back to between 950 and 710 B.C. Kenneth Garrett/Getty Images

More recently in 2000, researchers in Egypt, found what they believe to be the oldest documented artificial body part. It was a prosthetic toe made of wood and leather (image above). It was found attached to a nearly 3,000 year old mummified remains of an Egyptian noblewoman. Prosthetic devices were constructed by materials such as wood and metal, and held to the body by leather attachments. It is only in more recent times that prosthetics have grown and changed, now being constructed from plastics and becoming more robotic like. These materials can make a prosthetic limb lighter, stronger and more realistic. Electronic technologies are also making the more advance prosthetics of today more controllable and even capable of automatically adapting their function during certain tasks, for example gripping and walking. While new materials and technologies have modernised prosthetics over the past century, the basic components of prosthetic limbs remain the same. (Clements, n.d.).

Just to give abit of an idea of how prosthetics have developed over time here is an image I found on google images. It is specifically looking at legs.

prosthetic_limbs

The following video shows just how prosthetics are changing peoples lives and how far they have developed from the above examples.  This link was sent to me by one of the people who are helping me with this project. I find it pretty unreal that someone who lost a leg and thought they would never be able to dance again can now go back to dancing all thanks to technology and someone caring. The guy who lead this project is just waay cool. The fact the he himself has two bionic legs and came up with numerous ideas as solutions for giving himself new legs and then succeeding is pretty mind blowing stuff. This stuff is just two exciting.

https://embed-ssl.ted.com/talks/hugh_herr_the_new_bionics_that_let_us_run_climb_and_dance.html

 

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