Prosthetics and orthotics have truly redefined how persons with disabilities live and experience their lives. Not so long ago, amputees and individuals born with debilitating deformities that stunted or impaired their locomotive function and overall mobility, had to spend the rest of their lives confined to beds or chairs, with very little capacity for independence or personal development and growth.
This unfortunate situation left many prone to depression, self-loathing and low self-esteem, which in turn caused a host of other ailments that made life near unbearable. Debilitating disabilities are cruelest towards children, who have a tendency to become ostracised and bullied because of their condition, whereas adults will invariably have a problem trying to find a job and make a decent living unassisted. Have things changed?
Thankfully, yes, the situation has changed, for the better. Now, modern innovations of prosthetics and orthotic devices have enabled individuals to live better, more fulfilling lives, because of revolutionary space-age prosthetic solutions. Today, even individuals with the most debilitating of disabilities become empowered to function independently.
But as wonderfully helpful and needed as these state-of-the-art innovations are, they did not come instantaneously, overnight. Nearly all the breakthroughs in the science of prosthetics and orthotics have been the product of decades of intensive research, which have continued to improve upon prototypes and older models, in order to fashion far more ergonomically designed solutions that provide maximum comfort, usability, durability with aesthetic beauty.
Research in the Field of Orthotics and Prosthetics Crafting
Research is the cornerstone of most orthotic as well as prosthetic sciences. Because it veers towards artisanal craftsmanship with people’s lives in mind; with each prosthetic or orthotic device made to custom-specification, understanding how the human body functions and how it can be made to function in a better way, to ensure the best possible results.
Not so many years ago, prosthetics were only made to look aesthetically similar to, or as close to a limb as possible. Most were successful in this regard, but were generally lacking in functionality. Prior to the present time, advanced prosthetic sciences developed functioning prosthetics that lacked an aesthetic touch.
It wasn’t only until the advancement of prosthetics and orthotics research that fully-functional and aesthetically pleasing solutions were realized towards various handicaps. These recent developments have become a testament to the necessity of continued progressive research in this field. In the future, it is hoped that these solutions will continue to excel, until such a time that even the most debilitating of handicaps need no longer be deemed ‘handicaps’.