The technology of prosthesis as well as orthotics is advancing pretty quick and prior to that, this day and age has witnessed the herald of a new era, the era of prosthetic human… the era in which a missing part of the human body is extended with a device that works as good as what is missing. There has been this speculation that over time much more advanced prosthetics will be designed to replace and function better than the human natural body. That being the case, people get startled at the mentioning of prosthetics for the facts that they know a lot less about it. Here are some fascinating and lesser known things about the technology:

What is prosthesis?

It is an artificial limb designed as a replacement for lost or missing part of the body. They function mainly as extension of the body. Amputees use it to do the same stuff they would do with their natural limbs. Different government agencies and medical scientists from different part of the world are contributing immensely to the development of the technology. United States DARPA designed the bionics known as “LUKE” for wounded veterans and amputated soldiers. An amputee recently did wall climbing with the DARPA version of bionic prosthetics.

Prosthetics are made of what materials?

The devices are built with aluminium, carbon fiber, titanium and other floaty materials alike. The inclusion of titanium in manufacturing components the device pretty strong. However, weighty an amputee is, a device can be constructed to hold their weight.

What is the average lifespan of a prosthetic?

All things held constant, the average lifespan of a prosthetic device is 3 to 5 years. If the device is well maintained it will successfully carry an amputee through the period specified here. However, lack of proper proper maintenance may result in untimely damage to the device.

Can it be exposed to moisture?

That depends on whether or not a device to be used in water is manufactured to resist moisture. The moisture resistant ones can go in water. Amputees can do diving and swimming with them. However some are not designed to be exposed to water. Insulating materials have been designed for all types of devices so that an amputee who uses a non moisture resistant device can get insulating it with materials to make it moisture resistant.

Can it be customized for an amputee?

Of course, it can. In fact, no already made prosthetics- that is to say all prosthetics are custom made. For the device to be the perfect fit for an amputee, their weight, health, personality, lifestyle and age are taken into account.

How does it fit in?

The surgery incision site of a lost limb is called the residual limb. It is allowed to heal before a prosthetics is fixed to it. The device has two ends, one is the foot and the other is a socket that is fitted into the residual limb. Cushion materials are placed round inside the socket to prevent pain when an amputee is using the device. On the other hand, some amputees wear some kind of shrinkers on their residual limb before they put on a prosthetic.