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Aritificial peg leg, Europe, 1850-1900

Made from painted black wood with leather straps which attached to the waist, this artificial limb was made for someone whose leg had been amputated above the knee. Often called peg legs, these were simple designs often made by local craftsmen rather than specialist limb makers. As the prosthesis has no knee joint, walking would have been difficult and the wearer was likely to have needed crutches as well.

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Glossary: amputation

Removal of part of, or a whole limb by surgery. Used to control pain or the spread of disease in the affected limb.

Glossary: prostheses

Artificial body parts, or materials inserted into tissue for functional, cosmetic, or therapeutic effect. Prostheses can be functional (artificial arms and legs), or cosmetic (artificial eye).

Glossary: artificial leg

A device, either external or implanted, that substitutes for or supplements a missing or defective part of the body.