The study of prosthetics has been closely associated with amputation surgery performed as a lifesaving measure from the aftermath of battle. Injured soldiers who returned home from battle with traumatic amputations utilized primitive wooden prostheses. Each major war apparently has been the stimulus for improvement of amputation surgical techniques and for the development of improved prostheses. It was not until the twentieth century when the most significant contributions to prosthetic sciences were made. Injured veterans who survived amputation increased the demand for prosthetic services.
A consensus conference revealed that few modern scientific principles or developments had been introduced in prosthetics. As a result, research and educational committees were formed to advise and work with a number of research groups. Between 1945 and 1976, universities, the Veterans Administration, private industry, and other military research units were subcontracted to conduct various prosthetic research projects. Although the focus of the Artificial Limb Program was prosthetics, it was anticipated that these efforts would also benefit orthotics as well.
In the early 1960’s the National Academy of Sciences National Research Council began to promote multidisciplinary scientific research efforts into human locomotion, biomechanics, and the development of new materials and devices.
By the 1980s the continuing introduction of new materials and methods spurred the profession of prosthetics to rapidly evolve as a changing discipline. In an attempt to keep its professionals updated, the 1990’s saw significant advancement in the development of educational programs with the establishment of national education accreditation.
Today, prosthetics has developed into a burgeoning multifaceted profession. Continued technological advancements in engineering and medicine have challenged its educational programs. Health care practitioners currently face a tremendous challenge to keep pace with the unprecedented growth and development in computer technology, materials science and rehabilitation medicine. Round Rock Orthotics and Prosthetics embraces this challenge.