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Introduction Prosthetics is the branch of surgery dealing with mechanical devices used to reproduce the form and function of missing body parts Prosthetics is the replacement of faulty or amputated body parts with artificial body parts Artificial limbs have been in use since at least 300 BC In AD 1509 German knight Gtz von Berlichingen called Gtz of the Iron Hand wore an artificial hand with jointed fingers Early in the 19th century a German prosthesist built a hand with fingers that could be flexed or extended and that could hold light objects such as a pen or a hat Before World War I 1914-1918 wood was considered the best substance for making artificial legs but later an aluminum alloy called Duraluminum and more recently fiber materials have made artificial limbs both lightweight and strong In recent years the manufacture of prosthetic devices has developed into a science Artificial limbs with functioning joints can simulate natural motion Hip joint prostheses can provide virtually normal mobility for people with damaged hip joints History Artificial limbs in one form or other have been in use from ancient times In 1885 a specimen was discovered in a tomb at Capua Italy along with other relics dating from 300BC The celebrated artificial hand built in 1509 for the German knight Gotz von Berlichingen who was called Gotz of the Iron Hand weighed about 14 kg 3 lb and had articulated fingers so constructed as to be able to grasp a sword or lance The hand is in the Nrnberg Museum and is still in working order Early in the 19th century a German prosthesist built a hand with fingers that could be flexed or extended without assistance and yet could still close to hold light objects such as a pen a handkerchief or a hat In 1851 a French prosthesist invented an artificial arm fitted with a wooden hand and attached to a leather socket that fitted the stump
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