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Pair of extension prostheses, Roehampton, England, 1966

This pair of extension prostheses was for a four year-old boy with short arms and legs. His condition was due to Thalidomide. The drug was given to pregnant women in the late 1950s and early 1960s to ease morning sickness and assist sleep. It caused thousands of serious birth defects. Babies were born with under-developed or missing limbs. The prosthesis was made by artificial limb manufacturer Hanger in 1966. It consists of pelvic bands and hip joints mounted on aluminium one-piece legs with wooden feet, with no ankle joints. The flat soles of the imitation shoe gave maximum stability when walking.

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Glossary: orthopaedics

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

Glossary: artificial leg

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

Glossary: thalidomide

No description.