Evolution and history of prosthetics & Prosthetic Devices

What is a prosthesis or Prosthetic device

A prosthesis is a device that artificially replaces the missing parts of the body. A prosthesis device is applied externally to make the loss of the original limb. Prosthesis greatly helps in a patient’s quality of life by improving the appearance and support of the body.

history & evolution of prosthetics

The prosthesis has been through various evolution for long ages. There are pieces of evidence for the use of prosthesis in several civilizations.

Below we will discuss the history of the prosthesis in a hierarchical order.

1.    France
In the era of mid to late 1500s, a French army surgeon made an introduction of modern procedures to amputate the body parts. He is the father of prosthetic designing and modern surgeries for amputations. He was the first to introduce an above-knee prosthesis, an adjustable harness, and a fixed device position. The surgeon took the services of a French locksmith who focused on using paper, leather, and glue to make the prosthesis.

2.    Ancient Romans
The history of prosthetic use among Romans is also bright. There was a famous man who has a history of being the first prosthetic wearer named as General Marcus Sergius.
He belonged to the army and lost his right hand in the 2nd Punic war. He has evidence of wearing the prosthetic limb, which helped him to carry his shield and continue the battle in the war field. He was a great warrior, but the early loss of right lib hindered his long-known career in the military.

3.    Egypt
The first inventors of the prosthetics were Egyptians. They were using this technology even before the French and Roman inventions. The presence of the prosthetics was confirmed in 2000 when a pathologist found a big toe prosthesis on an Egyptian woman’s mummy.
Egyptians were using prosthetics from 950 to 710 B.C.E.

4.    Civil war
In the American civil war era, there was a drastic increase in the number of body parts amputations. This increase in amputees led to more demand for prosthetics. A soldier, James Hanger, got his leg amputation and invented the metal and barrel staves limb with joints at the ankle and knee. This limb was named Hanger limb, which let the researches lead the prosthetic industry on more innovative structures.

5.    20th century
Despite an increasing demand for prosthetics since the civil war, there was no renowned innovation in the prosthetic industry until the year 1970.
In this year, a researcher Ysirdo M. Martinez made an artificial device or limb which could reduce the friction and improve the gait instead of only replicating the motion. This device successfully made walking more comfortable and relieving pressure to improve the quality of life of various patients.

Today’s age And Modern Prosthetics technology

In today’s age, the prosthetic industry is on the peak in terms of innovation and technology. Both manual and digital prosthetic limbs are available, which are even more comfortable.  Nowadays, prosthetics are lightweight, yet strong enough to support the body and give output. Robotic arms are of the most trending research fields in today’s age. With the present technology and resources, the prosthetic industry can go ahead in its advancement and certainly will due to the countless efforts of the scientists.

How prostheTic limbs can improve the life of an individual

A prosthesis is a device that helps to compensate for the loss of a missing limb. These artificial devices help in regaining mobility, functionality, and daily life activities.

There are plenty of reasons for the amputation of the limbs. Physical trauma, infections, congenital deformities, and physiological diseases can cause amputation of the limbs.

After a specific period, the physician refers the patients to a prosthetist for measurement and prescription of a suitable prosthesis.

There is a long history of prosthesis use since Egyptian civilizations. In the year 2000, scientists found a mummy of an Egyptian woman with a toe prosthesis.

In today’s age, the prosthesis is going through the most innovative and advanced form of transitions. Robotic limbs and AI-supported artificial devices are continuously replacing the traditional prosthesis. With continuous innovations, patients are now capable of living their lives with maximum comfort with the use of these prostheses.

In this post, we will discuss the advantages of the prosthesis and their use in the daily life of the amputee patient.

Aesthetic appearance of prosthetics

Amputation of any part of the body makes the body look incomplete or missing something. Aesthetically, a few patients can suffer from mental and psychological trauma due to their missing body parts.

Prosthesis use can make the patients more confident and content because of their aesthetic sense. Our society traumatizes the patients who are suffering from any type of physical disability. So, prosthetics are significant for the aesthetic appearance of the body.

Mobility and support with a prosthesis

A loss of body part can result in the loss of functionality of that part. A prosthetic leg or arm is the best option for any patient who is struggling with limited mobility due to organ loss. For instance, if a person has lost his leg, the base of support for that leg will be lost. In such patients, we will need a prosthetic leg to compensate for the loss of the limb.

With a properly fitted prosthesis or artificial device, the patient can resume the daily life activities according to his needs. Military soldiers who have lost their limbs on the battlefield can restore their duty with the help of prostheses. Sports as swimming, cycling, and running are also resumable with a perfect and suitable prosthesis.

A new approach to life with a prosthetic limb

When a person suffers from a trauma that ends in the loss of the limb, he/she suffers from a psychological shock. With the team collaboration and right attitude of the prosthetic providers, a person’s psychology can shift towards the gratitude and relief.

A prosthesis is making the patients less dependent upon other and other assistive devices. You can indulge in the other activities which you used to love before.

Prosthetic care

Sometimes, the use of prosthesis can be inconvenient, but you need to look at the bigger perspective of life.
As prosthesis are the vital part of the patient’s life, you must take care of your prosthesis by:

•    Remove the prosthesis when you are going to sleep. You must regularly examine the prosthesis to check for its damaged or lost parts. A slight disturbance in the structure of prosthesis can cause falls and fractures of the intact body parts.

•    Regularly clean and moisturize the residue part. You must massage your residual limb to prevent scarring and improve the circulation.

•    For improving the circulations and reducing swelling, you must use a bandage in the figure of eight over your residual part.

•    Inspect your skin regularly and look carefully for any wound and scar. You can also use a focusing mirror for observation of the skin.

•    Exercises are vital for the residual limb as these parts are prone to having a muscular weakness. Regularly follow the exercises prescribed by your physical therapist for regaining range of motion and mobility.

•    Proper care of the hygiene of your prosthesis is necessary. If you have a dirty device, it can increase the chances of infection as it comes in direct contact with the skin. Regularly clean the prosthesis with water and soap.

•    Try to wear clean and dry socks with your prosthesis

A prosthesis is significant for stable support of the body weight. If you take care of your prosthesis, it will help you to live a more comfortable life.

Prosthetics for above and below the knee amputation

Above-knee prosthesis

The above-knee prosthesis is for transfemoral amputations. The amputations can be a result of any trauma, disease, and internal body infection. Prosthesis for above-knee amputations consists of different parts that complete a perfect above-knee prosthesis.


A socket is the part of the prosthesis, which helps in fitting the residual limb or stump into it. Material, which helps in the composition of this part, is metal, thermoplastic, and any type of laminated material.

Knee joint

Knee joints are of various types. Some of these knee joints are of swing design, while some knee joints tend to stay in the locked position. The locked designs help walk while you can unlock the prosthesis for sitting purposes.

You can only use the above-knee prosthetic when the amputation is at levels above the natural joint of the knee or the place higher than the joint as transfemoral amputation.

Tibial tube or shin tube

The Shin tube lies between the prosthetic foot and knee joint. The material helpful in the composition of the shin tube is lightweight as titanium, aluminum, and carbon fiber.

Foot and ankle

Foot and ankle are the lower parts of the prosthesis.  There are several shapes and types of foot and ankle for a prosthesis. This part of the prosthesis is customized for individual needs.


Suspension helps in holding the stump of the limb in place. The suspension, according to your needs, becomes available when your limb is ready for the measurements.

Cover or cosmesis

This part helps in giving the appearance and shape to the limb. Most of the time, the cover has foam tube material, which matches the color of the skin. This part is sometimes covered with stockings as well.

Below-knee prosthesis

In the case of transtibial amputations, the ideal option is to use an adjustable prosthesis. Below, knee prosthesis also consists of the same components as in above-knee amputation. But in these prostheses, there is no need for moving or adjustable knee joints. The movement on the knee joint is free, which makes it easier to walk with these devices without any need for the knee joint.

In transtibial amputations, the prosthesis contains the following significant features:

1.    A soft inner liner which helps to give the stump a more comfortable receptacle

2.    A suction-socket valve which helps in reducing the motion between socket and stump

3.    There should be total contact between the prosthesis and the body to improve body weight support.

4.    The prosthesis should also contain air cushioning for minimizing the displacement of the stump and improving the comfort of the socket.

5.    Following the liner, there should be a suction socket shell in a relative sitting position.

6.    The prosthesis should also contain a removable liner for maximizing the facilitation of minor adjustments of the socket.

All these features play their roles in developing a customized prosthesis according to the needs of the patient. The best professionals who can give all the necessary detail and measurement are the prosthetists. These professionals can develop a perfect device according to your needs.

Types of prosthetic legs

The prosthesis is an artificial device that helps in replacing the missing part of the limb or the limb itself. This device helps in restoring the functionality of the body. The term prosthesis is the synonym for artificial legs and arms in the medical terms.

Working of prosthetics

Prosthetics replace the missing part of the body and maximize the functionality of the body. Prosthetics are not the original body part, but they help in replacing the functions of the body. After the healing phase of the trauma, prosthetics professionals cast or scan the residual limb part for crafting a mold of the limb of the patient. After it, they continue the process of modification.
Several factors as bones, tendons, muscles, and walking gait contribute to the manufacturing of prosthesis for customized needs.

Types of prosthesEs

C-leg prosthesis

C-leg prosthesis is used by thousands of users worldwide. This type of prosthesis has an outstanding performance in terms of walking. This prosthesis is the safest prosthesis with the microprocessor-controlled knee joint. A C-leg prosthetic helps in a flawless walk over the stairs, slopes, and ramps.

Several types of prosthetics are customizable according to individual requirements. With these prostheses, patients can also walk back in reverse positions according to their needs. In the newer and more innovative versions, there are other supports from iOS and Android app controls to link with the joints.

C-leg prosthesis includes:
•    Trans humeral
•    Tran radial
•    Transfemoral
•    Transtibial prosthesis

The prosthesis type depends upon the missing part of the body.
There are two significant types of prosthetics which are available:
•    Cable-operated prosthesis
•    Myoelectric limbs

Cable-operated prosthesis work by attaching a cable and a harness around the opposite side of the damaged limb.  While myoelectric limbs work by:
•    Sending the signals to the electrodes with the movement of muscles in the limb

Transfemoral prosthesis


A transfemoral prosthesis is an artificial device or limb which helps in the replacement of the missing limb above the level of the knee. It is difficult to regain natural walking among transfemoral amputation patients.

Generally, patients with transfemoral amputees tend to put in more than 80 percent of the effort in comparison to normal persons with healthy legs. This effort is due to the several complexities with associated movements with the knee joint.

In the new and modern designs, the implementation of:
•    Mechanical linkages
•    Carbon fiber
•    Hydraulics
•    Innovative combinations
•    Computer microprocessors

And other technologies help patients with more user control.

Most of the time, these prostheses help in covering the whole lower extremities. While there are some other lower extremity cases which require a prosthesis:

1.    Knee disarticulations
It refers to the amputation of the limb from the area where the knee disarticulates the femur from the tibia bone.
2.    Symes
This type of amputation refers to the disarticulation of the ankle while the heel pad remains reserved.


A transfemoral prosthesis is an artificial device or limb which helps in the replacement of the missing limb above the level of the knee. It is difficult to regain natural walking among transfemoral amputation patients.

Generally, patients with transfemoral amputees tend to put in more than 80 percent of the effort in comparison to normal persons with healthy legs. This effort is due to the several complexities with associated movements with the knee joint.

In the new and modern designs, the implementation of:
•    Mechanical linkages
•    Carbon fiber
•    Hydraulics
•    Innovative combinations
•    Computer microprocessors

And other technologies help patients with more user control.

Most of the time, these prostheses help in covering the whole lower extremities. While there are some other lower extremity cases which require a prosthesis:

1.    Knee disarticulations
It refers to the amputation of the limb from the area where the knee disarticulates the femur from the tibia bone.
2.    Symes
This type of amputation refers to the disarticulation of the ankle while the heel pad remains reserved.

Genium X3 leg prosthesis


With the sensor technology, these prostheses make intuitive and natural possible movements. This type of prosthesis is resilient and robust for patients with a physically more demanding occupation.  For sports activities like swimming, these prostheses are the best option.

Microprocessor controlled knee joint prosthesis

This type of prosthesis helps to support the more natural and detailed movement patterns. In such a prosthesis, everything tends to function in a real-time situation. This functionality is possible only with the latest technology, computer, and sensor control.

This type of prosthesis is the closest to the artificial above-knee limbic system, which helps in recreating a more physiological and natural pattern of the gait.

The working design of the prosthesis includes some parts as:
•    A suspension which holds the limb in the base
•    A socket which helps in fitting the base of the separated limbs
•    A foot, hook, or the hand
•    A shaft of the prosthesis
•    A covering that resembles the natural part of the body for more cosmetic and aesthetic appearances

Interim prostheses

These are the early prosthesis for the post-op phase. These prostheses help in the healing and management of the residual limb. The components of the interim prosthesis are standard SACH (solid ankle cushion heel) foot. The prescription of these types of prosthesis depends upon the type of amputation and the physical need of the patient.

Difference between prosthetics and orthotics

Sometimes, there is confusion regarding the use of orthotics and prosthetics. Most of the time, people consider these terms interchangeable regarding their usage. However, both orthotics and prosthetics are two different terms with different uses.

What is Orthotics

Orthotics is the use of braces and belts for the prevention of further injuries or to provide the movement support to the limb.

Specifically, orthotics refers to apparatus and methods which can enhance or correct the body part’s use. Orthotics can have many effects on the condition of the patient as in increasing mobility and reducing the pain. These effects are beneficial in assisting limb rehabilitation.

Orthotics have the most common uses in:
•    Accommodating the birth abnormality or deformity
•    Controlling the malalignment of biomechanical structures

In short, an orthosis is an artificial device that helps is support and correction of problems regarding the nervous system, muscles, and skeletal structures.
Most of the orthotic conditions are self-resolving with age. In some cases, these conditions require treatments and professional interventions for their symptoms as:
•    Cerebral palsy
•    Clubfoot
•    Flatfeet
•    Toe walking
•    Knock knees
•    Bowlegs
•    Pigeon toes

What is Prosthetics

engineer, prosthetic, wheelchair

Prosthetics is the field of rehabilitation in which artificial devices help in the replacement of the missing limb. Prostheses are custom-made devices that match the needs of the amputee patients.
A person can suffer from missing limb due to:
•    Congenital maldevelopment as a partial limb or missing limb
•    Trauma
•    Medical complication as diabetes and gangrene

Difference between prosthetics and orthotics

The most significant difference between prosthetics and orthotics is limb replacement. The orthosis is only for the support of the already present limb. While in the case of prosthetics, they help in relacing the amputated or missing limb or part of the limb.

Orthotics can help patients with the use of braces and belts for treating defects and malalignments. Orthotics is a practice of using assisting devices for the limbs, while prosthesis uses the artificial limbs for compensating the loss of missing limb.

The orthosis is the devices with temporary uses. The orthosis can stay for a little time to provide assistance and support. While orthosis is permanent in use, which stays with the person until the end of the time. The patient wearing the prosthesis is depending on it, which makes its use inevitable.

The difference in the functions of the prosthesis and orthosis is:
•    The orthosis can enhance or correct the functions of the body part
•    A prosthesis can help in the restoration of the natural functions of the missing parts of the body

A professional for the use and prescription of the orthotics is an orthotist. While professionals in the field of prosthetics are prosthetists.
These professionals, also an excellent prosthetics Salt Lake City Utah company have the authority to practice, monitor, fit, and design customized prosthetics. In addition to it, these professionals can provide education and therapy regarding the care and use of the apparatus according to the need. These professionals can treat various diseases like cerebral palsy, congenital deficiency of limbs, amputations, spinal injuries, muscular weakness, and stroke. They also help patients suffering from diabetic ulcers and physical defects due to stroke and other vascular diseases.

Similarities between orthotics and prosthetics

•    Both prosthesis and orthosis are the mechanical devices which are externally applied over the body
•    Both of these artificial devices can be prescribed to patients suffering from similar conditions

When to contact a professional prosthetist or orthotist

If you are having numbness or losing sensations in your limbs, then you must contact a physician. If your physician prescribes you to use the orthotics for the physical defect, then consult an orthotist. In case you are suffering from amputation, then consult your prosthetist for further evaluation and monitoring.

Save Prosthetics Introduction

We work hard to ensure that what we do, and that prosthetics in general, doesn’t become commoditized. What we mean by this is it is important to us that you know that when we build a prosthesis, we are building it for you and nobody else but you. We will never create anything that we’ve already created before. Every custom prosthetics project we undertake is carefully considered, designed, and built with you in mind. We are specialists, and what we build we build special for you. Our aim is complete satisfaction and ultimate joy, so rest assured we will work with you until you tell us to leave you alone, which we hope never happens!