Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ancient Egyptian Prosthetic Toe.

What you are looking at could be the earliest known form of prosthetics done by the ancient Egyptians dating back as early as 600 BC. Further tests are being made to see if it is the real deal or if it was just placed on the dead bodies for religious purposes. These tests include a toe-less volunteer to walk around wearing a replica to see how it holds up (literally). The toes are carved from wood and the 'Cairo Toe' (above image) is made of three-jointed parts of wood and leather...
“To be classed as true prosthetic devices any replacement must satisfy several criteria,” said Manchester’s Dr. Jacky Finch. “The material must withstand bodily forces so that it does not snap or crack with use. Proportion is important and the appearance must be sufficiently lifelike as to be acceptable to both the wearer and those around them. The stump must also be kept clean, so it must be easy to take on and off. But most importantly it must assist walking.”
To test the replica toes, Finch utilized gait analysis technology that incorporated cameras and pressure devices placed along a walkway. Volunteers wearing the toes, along with replica ancient Egyptian sandals, were assessed while walking its length. Although neither toe reportedly felt exactly like the real thing, they definitely did suffice, with one volunteer being able to walk “extremely well” using both toes. The fancier Cairo toe, with its integrated hinge, was said to be particularly comfortable.


via gizmag

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