The Amazing World of Amputations
My topic is on amputations and prosthetics. I think it would be a good topic because my 2 year old cousin had to get his leg amputated when he was just born and I wanted to learn more about how the surgeons did it. Also on these topics I am going to talk about how they have improved over time.
Amputations in the 1800’s
Amputation means to cut off a limb from the body. They amputate legs, arms and other things because it is either not getting the blood flow into the limb, it could have an infection, or last you could have a hardening in your arteries. Also if you are obese you could not get the blood flow to your limbs because the fat is cutting the blood flow off. The way they amputated legs back then was first they would hit the patient and knock them out or they would soak a rag with chloroform and stick it on their nose. Once they knocked them out the surgeons would either take a saw and just saw their leg straight off or they would take a knife and chop the leg off.
Right after they sawed the leg off they would immediately take some bandages, hold it on the bleeding part while the surgeon took a wire and thread it through the patient’s leg to help the patient from bleeding to death. Another way they would close up the wound was they would take some hot metal, stick the hot metal on the amputated part, drag the metal around the edges of the amputated part, and the edge will close the wound up because it has been burned and when a wound is burned it closes up.
After these surgeries many people died from bleeding to death or getting an infection from the operation. They would get an infection from the operation because the tools wouldn’t be clean or for having the amputated part getting infected.
The positive side is that you would live through the surgery and every thing would be okay.
Also after the surgery to help with the pain they would give them alcohol (they did not have a lot of medicine back then to help with the pain.) During the surgery if they didn’t knock them out they would give them something to bite on like wood.
Surgeons and technology have improved greatly since the 1800’s. Before the surgery, surgeons will ask patients not to eat or drink 2-6 hours before the surgery. Right before the surgery surgeons will ask patients if they would like to stay awake during the surgery and the doctors just numb your leg or surgeons will give you a medicine that will make you sleep during the surgery but they still numb your leg.
Now during the surgery they will shape your muscle so that it will fit into the prosthetic that you would like. Also during the surgery surgeons take a lot better care of you. For example they take a tube and drain any fluid that builds up during the surgery. Also if anything goes wrong they have a person that his job is to watch over you and if anything goes wrong he will tell the surgeon what is wrong and to fix it immediately. This person’s job is called an anesthesiologist.
Some positive things about today’s amputations are during the surgery clamps are supplied to minimize bleeding. After the surgery the clamps are removed once the surgeon has stitched up the vessels. This prevents bleeding to death.
Some negative things are after the surgery you might have a stroke or a chest infection. This all happens because your mobility is restricted. Also the amputated part will fail to heal as a result of a fall, infection or a poor blood supply. This might mean you have to remove more of the limb or revise the amputation. If you’re an adult or teenager you will deal with phantom limb pain. That is where you feel that your limb is still there but it is not and it really hurts. Medicine can help with this pain.
Some positive things about amputations today is that you have less chance of dying because now we have the proper tools to keep you alive and everything is a lot more sanitary. Even if you are a baby and have to get a limb amputated you have a great chance of living through the surgeries because surgeons have better tools now and that helps a lot! Also surgeons give us medicine to help with the pain.
Prosthetics from 1529 to 2011
First let me tell you what prosthetics are. It means that it is an artificial devise that replaces a missing body part. It all started with an artificial limb made by Ambroise Pare. It was made out of wood, metal, and leather and was operated by catches and springs to make the artificial limb move. Since then people have only made improvements off of Ambroise Pare’s prosthetic.
The first improvement was in 1863 and it was done by Dubois L Parmelee. The improvement was he fastened a body socket to the artificial limb with an atmospheric pressure. Dubois was not the first one to do this but he was the first person to do so with satisfactory results.
The next improvement was in 1898 and it was done by Dr. Vanghetti. He was the very first person to make an artificial limb that could move by muscle contraction.
In 1946 a major advancement was made by the University of California. It had a suction sock that could hold the prosthetic on better. This was made for above the knee surgery.
One of the last improvements was in 1975. Ysidro M. Martinez did not attempt to replicate a natural limb with articulated joints. What Ysidro M. Martinez did was he made the prosthetic light weight to facilitate acceleration and deceleration and reduce the friction. The foot is a little bit shorter so that it can control acceleration and that reduces friction.
The prosthetics we have today are the battery powered prosthetic, the muscle powered prosthetic, and the motor powered prosthetic. The battery powered prosthetic allows a person to walk up and down the stairs a lot easier and it makes the disabled person easier to bend the knee. Battery powered is the best in joints.
The muscle powered prosthetic is super light weight and has a lot of gross body movement. Physical therapy is required because of how much gross body movement there is.
Lastly, motor powered prosthetics have a tiny motor at the bottom of the artificial limb. This motor makes walking easier than a person with an actual leg. Also this motor allows you to climb the stairs, and sit down without hurting any other body parts. These prosthetics allow many people to become great athletes. Those three prosthetics are what we use today.
This report was done by Ben.