How The World War Helped The Prosthetic Industry
Many doctors, including ourselves, credit the world war for pushing the prosthetic industry to where it is today. Without the urgency and demands needed during the time of war, the prosthetic and amputation industry wouldn’t have advanced as quickly as it did.
Now, we understand that the world war was a very scary time and we do not want to disregard that fact. However, we do want to shine a light on a topic that isn’t often talked about: How the world war has helped our patients today.
Early Advancements in the Prosthetic Industry
During the earlier years of prosthetic technology, doctors used materials like tree stumps and leather straps to replace limbs. This was the ideal method at the time as it was quick and met the urgent needs of veterans. However, as amputation surgery continued to increase during war, more and more veterans demanded for a better option or solution.
This is when major advancements started to take place. “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.
Industries such as amputation surgery, prosthetics, and muscle transplant technology continued to progress during the 1950s, leading up a major international investment in biomechanics. By the 1960s, the hinged knee was introduced, a prosthetic style which relied heavily on biomechanics.
Once the Vietnam War came around, doctors had already mastered the functionality of prosthetics so instead of reinventing the wheel, they focused on creating prosthetic limbs that looked and functioned as closely as possible to a real limb. Which brings us to where we are today in the industry.
Prosthetic Patients Today
Because doctors were forced to work and act quickly during the war, amputees today are able to get back to their regular routine in a smoother and nearly painless fashion. The advancements made during those tough times have really helped the prosthetic industry we know in today’s society and for that we are thankful.
Our patients are now able to heal and regain strength with almost no hassle thanks to our veterans, the hard working medical team during that time, and those whoo helped push prosthetic technology in the right direction. This is why the world war is so important to our industry and our present and future patients.