A prosthesis or prosthetic implant is an artificial model that aims to replace the function of the missing body part. They are attached to the body temporarily to aid in daily life. The advancements made in this field have brought relief among the amputees since they offer a promising future. HISTORY OF PROSTHESIS The history of using prosthetics dates back to about 3000 B.C., with the Iranians and Ancient Egyptians being the first one to use these. However, it was a Greek Diviner who came up with the replacement of feet with a wooden one when his foot was cut off during his escape. The Capua Leg found in Italy and Horse-hoofed Prosthetic leg from China are the oldest prosthetics to be found. Ever since then many contributions have been done to improve the concept of prosthetics. MODERNIZATION IN THE EARLY DAYS The advancement in the 15th century was due to the contributions of an Italian barber and anatomist Amroise Pare who served the Royal family of France. He was rightly called the Father of Modern Prosthetics. He served as a surgeon and also used his knowledge of anatomy to design artificial limbs. Among his many contributions, the noblest is the knee prosthetics with harness and lock control, which are still used.
Other improvements were made by the introduction of peg legs, non-locking knee prosthetics, steel knee joint, poly-centric knee, Selpho leg, multi-articulated joint. The work of Marcel Desoutter is to be appreciated who proposed a prosthetic made out of aluminum.
ADVANCEMENT DURING THE CIVIL WAR In the American Civil war that took place between the years 1861 to 1865, the demand for prosthetics increased because of the consequences of the horrifying events. Under these series of events, improvements were done to these prosthetics by Dubois Parmelee. He was an American inventor who gave the idea of attaching the socket of the prosthetic to the remaining limb using atmospheric pressure. ADVANCEMENT IN THE 20TH CENTURY A number of changes in the field of prosthetics were made in these years. In 1945, the National Academy of Sciences proposed a program for such developments to be made. In 1946, the University of California modernized the above-knee prosthetic by forming a suction sock. An idea was put forward by the American inventor Y.M. Martinez who focused on improving the designs by reducing friction, using lightweight material and featuring a high center of mass. This allowed controlled movements with acceleration an deceleration.
MICROPROCESSOR PROSTHETICS The most advanced of prosthetics used today are the microprocessor devices. This consists of a sensor, a resistance system, and a battery. These sensors guide the gait cycle and make micro-adjustments needed to provide a smooth gait. Through this device, the various movements can be offered at a specific joint which almost mimics the human range. FINAL VERDICT Each day improvements are being made in the field of prosthetics. These days it is also possible to make an artificial limb covered by skin that looks quite like a human limb. There are even cutting edge technologies that have been working on an artificial arm that can be controlled by the human mind. This technology is yet to be introduced in the market, but may someday soon with more developments.