The History Of Prosthetics

In our modern time of technological innovation and advancement, prosthetic devices are becoming more and more life-like than ever. It certainly didn’t start out that way.

History of Prosthetics

The idea of prosthetics has been around since the dawning of early medical thought. The first true prostheses were made in Egypt, Greece, and Rome.

The History Of Prosthetics At A Glance

  • 2700 B.C – the oldest known splint was found by archeologists in Egypt dating back to this time.
  • 500 B.C – the first written mention of a prosthetic is made by Herodotus, who wrote of a prisoner that sawed off his leg in an attempt to escape and later replaced it with wood.
  • 300 B.C – A copper and wooden leg is unearthed in Capri, Italy, dating back to this time.
  • 1529 – Ambroise Par é, a French Barber Surgeon, introduced amputation as a lifesaving measure in medicine.
  • 1863 – Dubois L Parmelee of New York City achieved the first successful attempt at fastening a body socket to the limb with atmospheric pressure.
  • 1898 – Dr. Vanghetti invented an artificial limb that could move with the body through muscle contraction.
  • 1945 – The National Academy of Sciences, an American governmental agency, established the Artificial Limb Program in response to the influx of amputees from World War II.
  • 1946 – A suction sock for above-knee prosthesis was created at University of California (UC) at Berkeley.
  • 1975 – Ysidro M. Martinez, an amputee himself, took a different design approach to prosthetics rooted in theory instead of mimicking anatomy. His prosthesis design featured a high center of mass and light weight to facilitate acceleration and deceleration, increased control, and reduced friction.
  • Modern Prosthetics – There is now a wide array of different prosthetic choices. There are new devices built for specific functions and many different styles available.

The Future

We are coming closer and closer to having a device that will seamlessly integrate with the human body. We are making advancements every day, and show no sign of slowing down. It is an interesting and exciting field that is constantly improving. Who knows what the future holds!

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