As the Civil War ended, the government recognized the need for prosthetic devices. Limbs made out of wood, metal, and leather were supplied to amputee Veterans in an effort to help them return to a sense of normalcy and independent living. As time progressed, so did the field of prosthetics.

In the late 1940’s, the University of California at Berkeley invented a suction socket for above-knee prostheses. Electrically powered devices, which made the use of prosthetics easier, became popular in the 1950s. Nearly 60 years later, electric signals from existing muscles can enable users to open and close life-like fingers. Artificial legs are fitted with spring-loaded feet and synthetic coverings can be made to match skin tones.

Now, as servicemembers return from Iraq and Afghanistan with life-altering injures, VA supports and develops highly advanced devices. The PowerFoot, a robotic limb, takes stress off the rest of the body making it more comfortable for the amputee to walk. It also replaces the function of lost muscles and can even generate power. Veterans now have the ability to walk faster, run, and participate in activities once considered out of reach.

The video above details how 21st century prosthetics allow amputee Veterans to achieve a better quality of life. For more information visit our Prosthetic and Sensory Aids Service site.

Share this story

Published on Sep. 19, 2011

Estimated reading time is 1.1 min.

Views to date: 93


  1. Hack Facebook February 4, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    […]always a big fan of linking to bloggers that I love but don’t get a lot of link love from[…]……

    […]just beneath, are numerous totally not related sites to ours, however, they are surely worth going over[…]……

  2. Jack Kelley November 7, 2011 at 1:54 am

    Wow, awesome technology.

    The video above details how 21st century prosthetics allow amputee Veterans to achieve a better quality of life.

    How will this 21st Century Technology be adapted to 20th Century stumps?

    The prosthetic companies run the VA amputee rounds, the VA MD’s are all on retainer.

    Trust No One when getting a new prosthetic.

  3. Pattie Matheson October 15, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Wow! I’m a visual learner and always appreciate videos and photos. This is such a great advancement in the field! And, sadly, it’ll be needed as our involvement in conflict(s) continues.

    Good work Kate!

  4. Thomas Seo September 22, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Wow, this is such an awesome technology. I have to say that we are finally coming up with something to repay these soldiers for what they went through. Thank you so much for keep on improving these technologies.

Comments are closed.

More Stories

  • The PACT Act will help VA provide health care and benefits to millions of toxic-exposed Veterans and their survivors. Veterans have already begun to apply for the benefits.

  • Here are the most asked questions and answers about Long COVID. Also, a list of many of the symptoms. Use this list to tell your clinician or care team.

  • Check in for your appointments using your smartphone allows you to practice physical distancing while offering ease and convenience.