Acquired Amputation and Prostheses Before the Sixteenth Century

Padula, Patricia A.; Friedmann, Lawrence W.
February 1987
Angiology;Feb1987 Part 1, Vol. 38 Issue 2, p133
Academic Journal
Amputation has been practiced at least since 43,000 B.C.E. for ritualistic, punitive, curative, or vocational reasons. Fitting with prostheses has been done since at least 1,500 B.C.E. Anesthetics were used, but which ones is not known. Analgesics such as salicylates in plants, narcotics such as cocaine and opium, and soporifics such as alcohol and peyote were common. Amputation was done with knives, axes, and saws. Control of bleeding was by ligature, cautery, bandaging pressure, and plant and animal products. Suture was with cotton or human hair, acacia and other thorns, ant jaws, and sinew, with or without a drain. Prostheses were made of fiber, wood, bone, and metals, often lined with rags.


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