The definition of a prosthesis in the medical world is an artificial device that replaces a missing body part. An effective prosthesis delivers renewed functionality and is cosmetically pleasing, but it also serves to complete the wearer’s sense of wholeness. The history of prosthetics has always been intertwined with the history of warfare and the soldiers that fight. Early pioneers of the idea of prosthetics were the Egyptians. The Greeks also left evidence of using wooden feet after instances where their own were amputated or lost to trauma. Additionally, there are stories of a Roman general who had an iron hand crafted for him so that he could hold his shield and return to battle after his hand had been cut off. In the Dark Ages, it was common for tradesmen to design and construct artificial limbs. As advances in prostheses developed, watchmakers were necessary to the crafting of prosthetic limbs, as they had experience with intricate springs and gears. This is according Kenny Orthopedics. According to unyq.com, Dr Ambroise Paré in the early sixteenth century made significant advances in both amputation surgery and the development of prosthetic limbs. He was the first to introduce a hinged prosthetic hand, and a leg with a locking knee joint. These advancements, as well as his innovative techniques of attaching the limbs, are unfortunately still rather common in modern prosthetics. While there was little progress in the limbs themselves between the 1500s and the 1800s, advancements in amputation surgery developed in the mid-19th century allowed doctors to shape the residual limb in such a way that made them more receptive to the attachment of a prosthesis. The limbs weren’t much better, but life was becoming more comfortable for those wearing them. In spite of the tremendous loss of life and limb in the World Wars, there wasn’t a corresponding leap in prosthetic technology like the one seen in the Civil War — at least not until 1946 — when researchers at UC Berkeley developed a suction sock for lower-limb amputees. In the 1970’s, the inventor Ysidro M. Martinez made a huge impact on the history of prosthetics when he developed a lower-limb prosthesis that, instead of trying to replicate the motion of a natural limb, focused on improving gait and reducing friction. By relieving pressure and making walking more comfortable, Martinez (an amputee himself) improved the lives of many future patients. Today, great strides are being simultaneously made on the both the aesthetic and functional fronts thanks to new technologies and the never-before-seen pace of innovation. Modern materials like carbon fibre are making prosthetics both lighter and stronger. Advancements like 3D printing and biometrics have enhanced the lives of amputees and will continue to do so.