'Critchley' artificial leg, United Kingdom, 1918-1945

Made:
1918-1945 in Liverpool

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

British "Critchley" wooden above knee prosthesis. Adjustable leather socket by means of a lace at the upper half. Leather shin, the outer side of which has been removed to reveal the central rod support. (Weight: 7 lbs 6 oz 3.4 kg).

A person who had their leg amputated above the knee wore this prosthesis. It was developed by artificial limb maker Critchley of Liverpool. The prosthesis is made from metal, wood and leather. The leg consists of metal rods surrounded by a hollow wood core with leather padding pinned around it. The outer side of the leather shin has been removed to reveal the central rod supports. These mimic the bones of the leg to recreate the natural action of a person walking. A spring behind the knee allows it to bend and the ankle to flex.

Large numbers of amputations during both World Wars led to prostheses developments. This leg may have been created for one of the 41,000 soldiers who lost a limb during the First World War.

Details

Category:
Orthopaedics
Object Number:
1999-456
Materials:
leather, metal, textile, wood
type:
artificial leg
credit:
Richmond Twickenham and Roehampton Healthcare NHS Trust
status:
Permanent collection

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