Stump and Socket (II)
Gabriel Rosenkranz, M.D. *
- There are only two prostheses in the world: The comfortable and the one in the closet.
- A knowledge of muscles is the beginning and the end in prosthetics (after Sir Arnold Keith).
- There is no correct alignment that by-passes the mind.
- The happily aligned leg will tell you so: "I ain't kicking."
Fitter (staring at the unyielding roll of flesh protruding over the medial rim of the socket):
"O! that this too too solid flesh
would melt, Thaw and resolve itself into a
(Shakespeare, Hamlet I. 2)
When stump edema calls for relief:
"Never put off until tomorrow, What should have been done Early in the Seventies"
(George Ade, the Third and Last Call)
- The 3-D prosthesis of the inexperienced spells: DISCOMFORT, DISAPPOINTMENT, DISCARD.
"The human knee is a joint and not an entertainment."
(Percy Hammond, quoted by Mark Sullivan in Our Times, III).
- Mechanical joints: Position is everything in life.
- A healthy individual has a pair of legs, an amputee has two legs.
- I recall a case of persistent stump edema in which a sudden crack in the wall of the constricting socket changed the whole picture immediately for the better. A "wise-crack" if there ever was one.
- Amputee, calling up the man who sold him the "ultra-magic" prosthesis: "I am desperate. Please, tell me once more something good about the prosthesis."
Prof. Einstein's formula E=MC2 has its application in prosthetics, too: The excellence (E) of a prosthesis is determined by the multitude (M) of its wearers and more so by the comfort (C2) it affords.
Criticus: "Now what in the world good can this new device ever be that calls for so much watchfulness, understanding and devotion?"
Foresight: "Well, my friend, of what use is a newborn baby?"
- A good prosthesis is a thing of joy and glory, and the less conspicuous its presence, the more sparkling its beauty.
* See also "Stump and Socket; a New Fifteen Points" in the Sept. 1953 issue of this Journal.