Prosthesis

By Laura Stokely

Intro

Many things are important to life. But what happens if you loose one of those important items, such a a limb? Well that's what prosthesis are for.

History

Prosthesis have been mentioned throughout all history. The earliest recorded mention is the warrior queen Vishpala. It is thought that the Egyptians were early pioneers of the idea. Another early mention was of the Greek historian Herodotus, who cut off his own foot to escape from his captors. It was soon replaced it with a wooden prosthetic. Soon prosthesis were made out of the much more sturdy, but also heavy, iron. In 2000 a group of scientist found a mummy who was wearing a prosthetic big toe.
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Iron prosthetic hand believed to have been owned by Götz von Berlichingen (1480–1562)

Material Used

Prosthesis have used many diffrent tyoes of materials over time. In the begining they mostly used wood. Though wood was light, it had many problems such as it not being very sturdy, not good with water, could hurt and give splinters and even more problems. So this method got outdated. Soon they started using iron. Which, while sturdy, was heavy and overheated easily. Today more expensive prosthesis are made of titanium, plastic, polypropylene, and/or aluminum. Less expensive ones, however, can be made out of bamboo, PVC, plaster limbs ect.

Types of prosthesis

There are many different types of prosthesis. A prosthetic eye replaces an eye that has been damaged. Skin graft is where healthy skin is placed over somebody else's damaged skin. Usually the skin used is from the hips, legs, or buttocks. There's also prosthetic arms. There are 4 types the upper arm, the lower arm, the hand, and a single finger. Finally, the leg. Like the hand, there are 4 types, the upper leg, the lower leg, the foot, and a single toe.

There are many different other prosthesis, such as cochlear implant, face transplant, artificial heart and valve transplants, liver transplant, prosthetic knee joint, intractable bone, artificial knee, and many many more! Almost any part of the body can be replaced.

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A girl wearing upper leg prosthesis

Technology Now

Currently, people with physical disabilities can live a normal life, like everyone around them. While some do have some disadvantages, like how they can't do certain sports, they can do all their basic needs. This is all thanks to modern technology. Something like The Power Knee, can use electric sensors to help it's users stand and run much better. Some can even move for upper amputees. Hands are similar. Now most, if not all, prosthetic arms use technology to move via sensors on the arm. Some prosthetic hands work almost as well as real hands! Currently, prosthetic eyes will allow others to see. Not just for the blind, but ones who previously only could see out of one eye.
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A man playing table football with prosthetic arms

Cost

So how much do prosthesis cost? An arm and a leg, that's for sure! High quality leg prosthesis can range from $5,000-$50,000. High quality arm prosthesis can range from $3,000-$30,000. Skin grafts can cost $14,107. And a prosthetic eye can cost $457. Luckily, because of insurance, they will pay most of it off.

Famous people with prosthetics

Many famous people wear prosthetic. First is Ian Gregson, a Canadian actor, musician, activist, and author, who lost his right leg in an accident. Tom Whittaker was the first disabled person to climb the summit of Mount Everest, he lost his foot in a car accident. Casey Piertti lost his leg in a car accident and is an actor and stuntman. Finally, Rick Allen is a drummer for a band, Def Leppard, who lost his left arm.
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Rick Allen

Conclustion

In conclusion, prosthesis are an important part of many lives. It has made many lives possible.
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Emi Ibarazaki, who sports prosthesis