It would be nightmare to any human being to think about a lost hand, foot or an entire arm or leg or to be born with any of limb defects. How these human beings with lost limbs (physically challenged) can carry out normal activities like walking, picking objects, writing etc. To overcome this, doctor can provide artificial armamentarium called prosthesis or artificial limbs, though they are not superior to original flesh and bones. The prostheses aid in replacing the lost gross functions of limbs in addition improves cosmetic appearance of the patients, thereby building self confidence.
The design of prosthesis had undergone many changes with modern advancement in sciences. Peg leg like prosthesis had been around for centuries. But today we have much wider range of products encompassing plastics and carbon fibre which are stronger, lighter and more durable.
Artificial limb helps to regain the normalcy of life both physically and psychologically. They make the ‘dependent’ people ‘ independent’. In people with lower limb loss these prostheses help to provide mobility. In those with bilateral lower limb loss artificial limbs are far more better than wheel chair. Also they provide access to areas that are not accessible to wheelchairs. The prosthetic legs allow amputees the option of going up stairs. Prosthetic legs provide a greater sense of independence. In case of upper limb loss they help to regain gross function of the hand. But with the advancement of technology we have prosthesis which are electrically controlled and perform near normal functions.
Prosthetic limbs aid the disabled to have satisfactory gait pattern and utilize less energy while walking.
Disabled people can have better psychological outlook on life by the use of prosthetic legs, whether they have one or two prosthetic legs. In a study carried out by the Amputee Coalition of America they found out the physically impaired with artificial limbs, feel less discomfort with their conditions because of the ability to mingle with the crowd. They also observed that in those who do not have the opportunity to wear prosthetic legs feel depressed and mentally disabled.