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Artificial right leg, England, 1894

Made for a very young soldier, just 16 years old, after he lost his right leg from the knee down in 1894. This wooden leg was worn for many years until he reluctantly accepted a new one from the army in 1972. He then wore the new leg until his death in 1977, aged 99. Prosthetic limbs are very personal items and some wearers are reluctant to change a limb they are already comfortable with, despite advances in materials and design. This example has been repaired many times.

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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.