Prosthetics is an ancient Greek word. It is an artificial replacement for the missing body part, which may be lost or hampered through accidents, trauma, disease, or congenital condition. The use of prosthetics is intended to 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 primarily coordinated by prosthetist and an interdisciplinary team of health care professionals including psychiatrists, surgeons, physical therapists, occupational therapists and in the modern era Robotics has become the most important part of smart prosthetics. An artificial leg dating to about 300 B.C. was unearthed at Capua, Italy, in 1858.it was made of iron and bronze.
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. Prosthetics has always been a part of human race since 424 B.C. and the long and winding road to the computerized leg began about 1500 B.C. and has been evolving ever since. During the dark ages (476 to 1000) we got little improvements in prosthetics other hand hook and peg leg by adding intricate internal functions with springs and gears.
During 1400s to 1800s which is also called as era of renaissance the new prospective of art, philosophy, science and medicine.it proved to be the rebirth in the history of prosthetics. These were generally made of iron, steel, copper and wood.
In the mid-to late 1500s French Army barber/surgeon Amboise Pare is considered by many to be the father of modern amputation surgery and designs of prosthetics. He introduced modern procedures for upper- and lower-extremity amputees. His work introduced the methods of how a prosthetics should work. During the 17th through 19th centuries in 1696, Pieter Verduyn developed the first non-locking below-Knee Prosthesis, which later became the blueprint of current joint and corset devices. James potts in 1800s designed a prosthesis made of wooden shank and socket, a steel knee joint and an articulated foot that was controlled by catgut tendons from knee to the ankle which was known as “Anglesey leg” after the Marquess of Anglesey. There were many improvements in this era with ankle amputation that did not involve amputating at the thigh, adding anterior spring, smooth appearance, concealed tendons to simulate natural looking movement.IN 1858 Douglas Bly invented and patented the Doctor Bly’s anatomical leg which was considered “the most complete and successful invention in artificial limbs over that particular period. In 1863 there was first aluminium prosthesis where introduced.
Moving towards the modern times, During the era of USA civil war many Americans got forced to enter the field of prosthetics. James hanger, was one of the first amputees of civil war which later been patented as the “hanger Limb”. Hanger, Selpho, Palmer and A.A. Marks plays an important role in transforming and advancing the prosthetics field with continuous refinements in mechanisms and materials of the devices of the time. During world war 1 there was not much improvements 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). From that moment the multidisciplinary approach in introduced in prosthetics which led to use of lighter material, Patient-moulded devices, use of microprocessors, computer chips, and robotics. These improvements 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.