Prosthesis is an ancient Greek word which means attachment. It is an artificial replacement for the deprived part of the human body.
Prosthetics fulfil the functionality of missing part of body as much as possible. This is the technology under healthcare and rehabilitation. It is based on interdisciplinary approach which is taken care by prosthetist and an interdisciplinary team of health care professionals including psychiatrists, surgeons, physical therapists, and occupational therapists. In the modern era Robotics has become the most important part of smart prosthetics. An artificial leg was made from iron and bronze. This discovery dates to 300 B.C.
and was unearthed at Capua, Italy, in 1858. Image 1.0 Prosthetics has always been a part of human race since 424 B.C. From the ancient pyramids to world war I, prosthetic field has deformed in to an advanced example of human being’s vision to do better. The ambiguous road to the computerized leg began in about 1500 B.
C. and has been evolving ever since. During the dark ages (476 to 1000) we got little improvements in prosthetics other than hand hook and peg leg by adding gyrating internal functions with springs and gears.From the era of year 1400s to 1800s the new prospective of art, philosophy, science and medicine turned out to be the rebirth in the history of prosthetics. These were generally made of iron, steel, copper and wood. Image 1.
1 From 1540’s to 1600, Amboise Pare, a French army barber introduced various new designs of prosthetics and outlined various amputation surgery methods., hence fourth he came to be known as father of modern amputation surgery. In between 17th and 19th centuries in 1696, diverse advancements were casted by people like Pieter Verduyn and James Potts. The first non-locking below-Knee Prosthesis was developed by Pieter Verduyn which afterwards became the blueprint of current joint and corset devices.
The famous “Anglesey leg” was designed by James Potts from wooden shank and socket This era witnessed many improvements with ankle amputation which concealed tendons to simulate natural looking movement. This did not involve of amputating at the thigh or adding interior spring but still gave a smooth appearance. Douglas Bly invented and patented the Doctor Bly’s anatomical leg which in 1858 was considered “the most complete and successful invention in artificial limbs over that particular period. In 1863 first aluminium prosthesis was introduced.
Image 1.2 Hanger, Selpho, Palmer and A.A.
Marks transformed prosthetics field with continuous refinements in mechanisms and materials of the devices of the time. During world war 1 there was not much improvisation going on in this technology but the surgeon General of the army at that time realized the importance of this technology and he led to the formation of American orthotic &Prosthetic Association (AOPA). Use of lighter material, Patient-moulded devices, use of microprocessors, computer chips, and robotics all these valuable additions over a period made prosthetic technology more realistic with more functionality to match up with the natural behaviour of human limbs rather than just mechanical hardware.