The Price of Freedom: Americans at War Home Collection Search

Object Record


Prosthetic Leg
Medical Science, Division of Science, Medicine, and Society, National Museum of American History

Prosthetic Leg

Credit: Medical Science, Division of Science, Medicine, and Society, National Museum of American History

Specific History

This type of prostetic was used to replace a severed foot.

General History

During the Civil War about 7 out of 10 wounds were to extremities. These were the wounds that were treated as a shot to the chest or abdomen meant a sure death. Amputation was the most common type of surgery done. A patient was administered an anesthesia, a new tool in the surgical arsenal. Then the skin and muscle were cut exposing the bone which was severed with a bonesaw. The bonesaw earned the doctors a nickname; they were called “Sawbones.”


Keywords

Country: United States
War: Civil War
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