Prosthetic Limb Research Paper

3066 Words13 Pages
Andrew Lustig
Professor Mallard
ECE 101
24 October 2012
Can Anybody Lend A Hand? Prosthetic limbs all started with a very simple problem. Do you just give up hope when you lose an arm or a leg, or is there some other way to make the best of a situation? Hope was not given up by us persistent human beings and that is how artificial limbs were thought of. Instead trying to get around, we thought of artificial legs to help those who have lost them. Instead of only having one arm, we thought of artificial arms to be able to have two again. Prosthesis not only brought hope to those who were seriously injured and lost their limbs, but it helped these people bring their lives back to as normal as it could be. Of course prosthesis did not
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So for many years people were content with this simple type of prosthetic limb and it wasn’t for about 500 years until it began to progress into something better. The next “wave” of prosthesis came from Ambroise Pare, a Frenchman born in 1510. He was a surgeon for the French Army and was prominently known for his treatment to gunshot wounds. He also made great progress in artificial limbs.
“His ‘Le Petit Lorrain’, a mechanical hand operated by catches and springs was worn by a French Army captain in battle. He also devised an above-knee prosthesis consisting of a kneeling peg and a prosthetic foot. It had a fixed equinus position, a locking knee and a suspension harness, features that are still in use today” (1117). This hand was the starting point for the advanced prostheses in existence today as well as the leg he developed. It was the first successful leg to have the locking knee, suspension harness and the equinus position and it set the bar for other prosthetics to come. Also Pare was the first to make a prosthesis with joints; “The leg he designed for amputation through the thigh is the first known to employ articulated joints” (Wilson Jr. 2). The next wave of progression with artificial limbs came from the Civil War, and with anesthetics present, the surgeries were improved tremendously. Also the United States government paid for prosthesis for war veterans so they became more common. There was
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