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Artificial left leg, London, England, 1861-1920

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Someone who had their left leg amputated on the knee joint used this artificial leg. The leather corset secures the prosthesis to the thigh. It is perforated so the wearer will not get too hot. Inside the calf is a v-shaped metal bar attached to a spring. This prevents the wearer falling forward yet allows them to walk with comfort. The ankle and knee joints are lockable. The toes are made of flexible leather. William Robert Grossmith’s company made this limb. He also wrote ‘Amputations and Prosthetic Limbs’ in 1857.

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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.