The oldest prosthesis was found in a grave in Egypt. In ancient Thebes, around 950 to 700 BC, a female mummy wore a wooden prosthesis - as a replacement for her right big toe.
In medicine, a prosthesis (plural: prostheses; from Ancient Greek: πρόσθεσις, romanized: prósthesis, lit. 'addition, application, attachment'), or a prosthetic implant, is an artificial device that replaces a missing body part, which may be lost through trauma, disease, or a condition present at birth.
Prostheses in war
War was also an innovator in prosthetics. Missing body parts were considered deformities. If a limb was missing, the person was incomplete - and could no longer fight.
War therefore also produced artificial extremities that served as extensions of the knight's armor. The Frankish knight Götz von Berlichingen wore a prosthesis, whose fingers could be moved. He could even make them into a fist.
Later, at the beginning of the 19th century, Johann Nepomuk Mälzel became famous for his foot prostheses. He developed them for war invalids at the time of the Napoleonic campaigns.
In 1812, the Berlin dentist Peter Baliff, designed a prosthetic arm that could be moved around the elbow and shoulder using cables. It was the first prosthesis that could be moved without the support of the healthy hand and the birth of the first modern arm prosthesis.