Rachael C. Harris
April 26, 2015
Mr. William Knight
Essay 3 - Ossur Prosthetics
Since 1971, Ossur Prosthetics has revolutionized the world of prosthetics limbs for amputee clients around the world all the way from the small country of Iceland (ossur.com, 2015). Now, Ossur is represented “across the Americas, Europe, and Asia” in 18 different locations to help pass along the new prosthetic technologies around the globe (ossur.com, 2015). Amazingly, prosthetic limbs have been in existence since at least 300 B.C. as documented findings of the first prosthetic leg were unearthed in Capua, Italy in 1858 (Norton, 2007). Over thousands of years, different cultures, countries, and companies have brought innovation to the incredible field of prosthetic limbs for the amputee wearer, although none has quite met the challenges of the industry head on like Ossur Prosthetics.
From the earliest times of 400 to 1 B.C., Egyptians have been reported to “be the pioneers of prosthetic technology” (Norton, 2007). In fact, various tales of Egyptian or Persian warriors in battle have surfaced describing the brutal hardships endured by even the strongest of men suffering after the loss of a limb in battle or forced to sever their own limbs as a form of punishment (Norton, 2007). In some of these cases, rudimentary tools or implements were utilized to help the amputee find any means to correct their mobility for survival with crude results (Norton, 2007). The long and treacherous times of the battled Dark Ages did not promote much advancement in prosthetic means, however, the Age of the Renaissance began a new era of forward thinking in artificial limb technology after Greek and Roman inventors began manufacturing replacement limbs from “iron, steel, copper, and wood” (Norton, 2007). While progressions in prosthetic limb fabrication developed new approaches to wearable limbs for amputees, truly advanced technological innovations did not surface in the world of prosthetics until the late 1970’s through the early 2000’s, and even more so today (Norton, 2007).
Ossur Prosthetics, as well as other prosthetic companies, have changed the way amputees and their level of function are viewed around the world. Currently, amputees can be served by hundreds of prosthetic companies with unlimited prosthetic wear designs for optimal limb function and aesthetic quality to improve their quality of life. With proper fitting prosthetics, today’s amputee can have a very active life without the pain and limited mobility previous prosthetic designs could not provide. Amputees used to feel disengaged from active lives related to poor fitting or severely limited mobility. Today, Ossur can proudly say their many technologies have changed the way amputees lead their lives without limitations.
Ossur has been a leader in the prosthetic wear industries for the past several decades with specialized limbs made specifically for the sports enthusiast athletes to stay active in their everyday lives (Ossur.com, 2015). Ossur’s American headquarters, located in southern California, maintain a specialty Research & Development lab with nearby manufacturing in Tijuana, Mexico, for quick fabrication of specialized prosthetic design wear ordered by clients and prosthetic and orthotic companies around the globe (ossur.com, 2015). Ossur has won numerous awards for being a leader for innovative prosthetic design incorporating silicon prosthetic sockets and creating the world’s first “SYMBIONIC”, or “bionic”, prosthetic leg utilizing Bionic Technology by Ossur (ossur.com, 2015). Other products include Ossur running legs for athletes to get back to their once physically active way of life as close to optimal activity and quality of life as possible. Ossur has been the proud fabricator of many prosthetics used in competitions by all types of amputee athletes, including Olympians and Paralympians, alike.
As an Ossur consumer, I can attest