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Credits: Science Museum

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This leather and steel splint was made at the Military Orthopaedic Hospital in Shepherd’s Bush, London. It was designed to keep the knee still and the leg straight, helping injuries to heal. Wounded First World War soldiers who were actually patients at the hospital made many such splints, supports and prosthetic limbs. This type of work was part of the treatment at the hospital known as ‘curative workshops’ – what we might now call occupational therapy. The workshops not only kept the men occupied but were intended to help them regain the use of injured limbs and allow them to feel useful when out of active military service.

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Glossary: orthopaedic support

A support for part of the human body such as the back or a leg

Glossary: orthopaedics

The branch of medicine concerned with the preservation and restoration of the muscular and skeletal systems in the body.