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Reece Nelson




Location: Overland Park KS
Joined: 18 Oct 2007
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Posts: 257

PostPosted: Mon 17 Oct, 2011 5:22 pm    Post subject: Historical Prosthesis         Reply with quote

Hello all,

For some time now I have been wanting to create a historically accurate look with my current prosthesis. Currently Iv made it look like a peg leg with the help of wood grain contact paper and a leather cover to hide the rubber Wink While this looks great, I would like to try to make it look more historically correct.

The trouble is I can't find a lot of documentation on medieval prosthetic legs...especially ones of high amputees (like myself)

The best resource iv found was this site http://www.amputee-coalition.org/inmotion/nov...etics.html But it doesn't give me a lot of information on how they looked.

Any help would be greatly appreciated Happy



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John O'Brien




Location: Waltham
Joined: 20 Nov 2005

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon 17 Oct, 2011 6:52 pm    Post subject: Historical Prosthesis         Reply with quote

Hi Reece-

Try contacting the Mutter Museum in Philly. I believe they have some old prostheses on exhibit or they be be able to point you to some books or other sources on the web.

http://www.collphyphil.org/site/mutter_museum.html

John

"The entire secret of arms consists of only two things,
to give, and not to receive." - Moliere
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Christopher Treichel




Location: Metro D.C.
Joined: 14 Jan 2010

Posts: 268

PostPosted: Mon 17 Oct, 2011 8:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

not exactly leg prothsesis but can give you an idea of what could be possible... from Nuremberg Germanishes National Museum in the section of the medical guild... these are from about the 15-1600s maybe too late for you.


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Christopher Treichel




Location: Metro D.C.
Joined: 14 Jan 2010

Posts: 268

PostPosted: Mon 17 Oct, 2011 9:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

you could also try looking through Medieval art...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Beggars_and_Cripples.jpg
http://larsdatter.com/crutches.htm
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Thomas R.




Location: Germany
Joined: 10 May 2010
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PostPosted: Mon 17 Oct, 2011 11:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Christopher,

the device which looks like it could have been a high leg prosthesis is labeled in german as "a device for stretching a knee, which healed in a bended position after a severe injury". Hope that's helpful,

best regards,
Thomas

http://maerenundlobebaeren.tumblr.com/
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Johan Gemvik




Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Joined: 10 Nov 2009

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PostPosted: Tue 18 Oct, 2011 1:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Reece, I'm always inspired when I see people overcoming physical impairment to do what they love. In my opinion it's one of mans very best qualities.
Peglegs must have been fairly common among war veterans historically and I imagine they'd look much like yours in the photo. Best of luck in your search if you want a different look though.

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Leo Todeschini
Industry Professional



Location: Oxford, UK
Joined: 12 Nov 2006

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PostPosted: Tue 18 Oct, 2011 4:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I second Johans thoughts and also salute you for trying to get it as accurate as possible when no one would critise you for not.

In London there is an organisation/company called Wellcombe (Wellcomb?) that makes medicines, at their offices in London they have a medical museum and library going back hundreds of years and this part is called the Wellcomb Foundation or Wellcombe Trust (I forget) they without a doubt will have a curator or librarian that can point you at some information.

Good luck

Tod

www.todsworkshop.com
www.todcutler.com
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E. Storesund





Joined: 10 Jan 2011

Posts: 101

PostPosted: Tue 18 Oct, 2011 6:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Reminds me of Grettis saga, certainly written some time in the high middle ages, regarding a Viking named Önundr "tréfotr" Ófeigsson. Refered to in the saga as "víkingr mikill, ok herjađi vestr um haf" - "a great viking, who plundered around the western sea".

"Ţá hjó einn af stafnbúum konungs til Önundar, ok kom á fótinn fyrir neđan kné, ok tók af fótinn.[...] Önundr varđ
grćddr, ok gekk viđ tréfót síđan alla ćfi ; var hann af ţvi kallađr Önundr tréfótr međan hann lifđi."


"Then one of the king's crewmen hewed at Önund and struck the leg right under the knee, severing it. [...] Önundr recovered and since walked with a wooden leg; thus he was called Önundr peg-leg as he lived on."

It is entirely possible there was a man who earned his name in this way, though we must assume the situation as it was written down to be literary rather than historical. At least the author seems to have thought this to be reasonable, and sure; why not?
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Kurt Scholz





Joined: 09 Dec 2008

Posts: 390

PostPosted: Tue 18 Oct, 2011 10:21 am    Post subject: doubt         Reply with quote

Christopher Treichel wrote:
you could also try looking through Medieval art...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Beggars_and_Cripples.jpg
http://larsdatter.com/crutches.htm


These are Late Medieval illustrations of beggars. We have also from other times illustrations of disabled people begging because they seem to have not been integrated into a social fabric that helped them, like a family nor a job suitable to their abilities. However, concerning this specific time, less severe symptoms of ergotism may have contributed to the case. Eating infected grain is possible, but the increasing dose means acquiring an illness that causes mental and physical damage. People knew that and infected grain tasted rather different, even as bread (according to my professor in osteoarchaeology, I never tried), but poor people simply gambled that it was food that helped them not to starve. If they survived the result would be people with amputated limbs and mental damage, making these formerly poor fellows even less fortunate in being able to make a living.

There's a very famous Medieval high-tech hand protheses in Germany of the knight Götz von Berlichingen who continued fighting with this replacement. Here's a documentation about it. I'll try to make some pictures of the original.
http://coilhouse.net/2008/03/the-iron-hand-of...lichingen/
I hope that helps you to envision the feasibilities.
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Reece Nelson




Location: Overland Park KS
Joined: 18 Oct 2007
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Posts: 257

PostPosted: Tue 18 Oct, 2011 10:50 am    Post subject: prosthedic leg         Reply with quote

Thanks! Big Grin This is a great starting point for my research.

Im familiar with the lower classes using crutches and such. But a majority of them seem to have amputations at the knee or lower. I have yet to see an illustration showing a high amputee, or even a leg amputee that has continued military service. Most of the prosthedics that iv seen were for people that were missing their hands.

I imagine that having lost you leg above the knee back then, you were almost guaranteed to bleed to death. So...maybe thats why we dont have many examples.

Still theres gotta be something out there....
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Christopher Treichel




Location: Metro D.C.
Joined: 14 Jan 2010

Posts: 268

PostPosted: Tue 18 Oct, 2011 2:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

18th century... probably way too late but here is the only one I found that was for an above the knee prothesis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%B3zef_Sowi%C5%84ski
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Martin Francis




Location: Northumberland, UK
Joined: 27 Sep 2008

Posts: 31

PostPosted: Wed 19 Oct, 2011 3:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Leo Todeschini wrote:

In London there is an organisation/company called Wellcombe (Wellcomb?) that makes medicines, at their offices in London they have a medical museum and library going back hundreds of years and this part is called the Wellcomb Foundation or Wellcombe Trust (I forget) they without a doubt will have a curator or librarian that can point you at some information.



Try these Links for the Wellcome Trust

http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/index.htm

And in particular the links to the Wellcome Library and the Wellcome Collection

http://library.wellcome.ac.uk/

http://www.wellcomecollection.org/

I'd also recommend the Thackray Museum in Leeds, (UK)

http://www.thackraymuseum.org/


Reece, this is truly a worthy aim and fine achievement, the commitment for which leaves me feeling slightly humble

Martin
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Kurt Scholz





Joined: 09 Dec 2008

Posts: 390

PostPosted: Wed 19 Oct, 2011 6:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have to take a look at medical history, but I think the modern prothesis is possible because of the amputation technique used that leaves enough meat and skin to cover the wound instead of just cutting. So with a different cutting technique especially leg protheses could really be a problem.
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Michael R. Mann




Location: Germany
Joined: 26 Jun 2012

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Fri 29 Jun, 2012 6:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hope this thread isn't too old to answer. If yes a moderator can delete it Cool

In the mid ages (Europe) a leg amputee above the knee wouldn't have survived such an amputation. The reason: The wound was closed by a technique which is called Cauterization. Only amputees below a knee had a chance to survive such a ordeal (if they had luck). Here is a picture how such a ordeal was performed: http://www.gutefrage.net/media/fragen-antwort.../0_big.jpg
This was changed as a french doctor begun to close such wounds like today (sew together veins, flesh and something like that).
But, if I remember it right, there exists reports of crusaders that the arabic doctors where able to close such wounds without cauterization.

The common substitute for leg amputees looked like such one: http://www.itg-oberfranken.de/gensler/www.-Mi...thesen.htm . Such things where common in Germany till the Second World War (see more: Zille, a german painter from Berlin).

If you will reconstruct an ancient pegleg, better would be a crutch, I would suggest to front your prosthesis complete with a bigger part of wood without the foot device. This means comparable with the wooden legs which are long used and known by several movies.

Perhaps it's also usefull to search for "Sternstunden der Medizin" (a german TV-Documentation) where one episode described ancient prosthesis, amputation techniques, amputees and the history around this theme.
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Reece Nelson




Location: Overland Park KS
Joined: 18 Oct 2007
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Posts: 257

PostPosted: Tue 29 Apr, 2014 8:51 pm    Post subject: prosthetic research         Reply with quote

I've come across more evidence that I thought I would share with you all. Some including men continuing military service Big Grin Cool

I've been trying to find design that would work for fighting, as I do bouting in HEMA and do medieval reenactment.

-Reece



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Reece Nelson




Location: Overland Park KS
Joined: 18 Oct 2007
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Posts: 257

PostPosted: Tue 29 Apr, 2014 8:55 pm    Post subject: prosthetic research         Reply with quote

Here is an update of my prosthesis with my harness on. It was difficult to bout in, as all the face drove into the ground and I sank in the mud Mad and making the ground very unstable for me to fight in.

So I'm trying to work on a design that give me more spring to project myself forward.

-Reece



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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Thu 01 May, 2014 9:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would strongly suggest having an detachable "foot" you can attach to the bottom of your prosthesis. You don't have enough surface area on the bottom there for soft ground. You probably figured that out though Happy

Not historically accurate but perhaps useful-- consider a shaped form of carbon fiber, perhaps? Light and springy? Could cover it with a leather "shoe".
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Reece Nelson




Location: Overland Park KS
Joined: 18 Oct 2007
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 257

PostPosted: Thu 01 May, 2014 5:51 pm    Post subject: prosthetic research         Reply with quote

Interestingly enough, we were just talking about doing that Big Grin Was gonna see about getting one of these carbon fiber running legs and try to give it the appearance that a person from the ear made it. We'll see how that goes...but this method doesn't work for free play.

-Reece
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Peter Anderson




Location: Holland, USA
Joined: 22 Mar 2013

Posts: 38

PostPosted: Thu 01 May, 2014 6:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is really cool. Great finds so far. I don't think I have anything to add historically; my knowledge of prosthetics is mostly from modern times, and a lot of the ones I could have pointed out have already been posted.

That said, another option as you hinted might be to get a modern prosthesis that is just leg & foot shaped, then wear enough kit over it that you can't tell it's actually a modern prosthesis.

As a potential problem, of course, hose and other clothing could interfere with the joints around the ankle, depending on the design. I know prosthetics can run into big money, too, if it's not one you've already got. But still, it's a thought.

PS: your harness looks great. That dark armour is gorgeous against the deep blue tunic. Happy
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Radovan Geist




Location: Slovakia
Joined: 19 Aug 2010
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Posts: 358

PostPosted: Thu 31 Jul, 2014 6:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

searching for something else, I´ve found this picture on Imareal database: http://tethys.imareal.sbg.ac.at/realonline/images/7000596.JPG

you could find more pictures here http://tethys.imareal.sbg.ac.at/realonline/ - just go to "Materielle Objekte" in the left menu, and search for "prothese"
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