The History of Prosthetic Technology
Prosthetic technology has been around for over 100 years now. As of 1916, Caulfield Hospital located in Mebourne, Australia began treating amputee veterans and to this day, the hospital has a display of veteran-used prosthetics.
This display is a constant reminder of how far we’ve come as an industry and a great visual representation of how advanced prosthetic technology became in a such a short period of time due to high demands.
We want to talk about war and the affects it has had on the prosthetic industry and the patients we treat today.
Prosthetic Technology During The World War
Tree stumps and leather straps were often the go-to materials for prosthetic procedures. Doctors at the time found that these materials were not only reliable but they were also convenient as they had to work quickly during the War.
After World War I, the prosthetic industry took a giant leap and major advancements were made thanks to the demands of veterans. “Essentially after World War II, the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association formed because of the drive from amputees to upgrade components. That’s when the initial impact in innovation happened. Since then it’s taken [later] wars to boost the prosthesis to the next level,” says Jim Lavranos, senior clinician at the Caulfield prosthetic ward.
Because of this exact reason, many doctors, ourselves included, credit the world war for being the main reason the prosthetic industry had to grow and advance as quickly as it did. Advancements continued to take place during World War II and after war as well.
By the 1950s, major progression was made in the prosthetic, amputation, and muscle transplant industry. This is when the hinged knee technique was introduced. After much success, a big international investment in biomechanics took place. The hinged knee technique relied heavily on biomechanics at the time.
And now, that brings us to today.
How Prosthetic Technology Advancements Affects Our Patients
Like stated previously, doctors had to move quick when it came to helping veterans during the war. The advantages of that are the advancements made in the prosthetic industry. With veterans wanting a better solution, doctors were forced to push themselves and the industry forward to meet those needs and demands.
Because of that, we are grateful. Without technology advancing so insanely quick in the prosthetic industry, our amputee patients today would not have access to the kind of support and technology they do now. Our goal is to ensure our patients recover and adjust comfortably and we are proud to say that, that goal would not be reached everyday if it weren’t for our veterans and doctors.