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MANUAL OF ARTIFICIAL LIMBS is the title given to this book to distinguish it from the Treatise and all other publications which it succeeds and supplants. It is in no sense a catalogue, although containing the information usually given in catalogues; but it is a true manual of the subject of prothesis and the most exhaustive work ever produced on that topic. Prothesis or prosthesis is defined by Webster as “The process of adding to the human body some artificial part in place of one that may be wanting.”

The Manual thus treats of all losses and impairments of the extremities, whether caused by accident, disease or birth, shows what they are and clearly describes how they may be repaired by artificial methods.

The Manual is divided into chapters, each devoted to a distinct phase of the subject or to a particular part of the leg or arm under discussion.

The illustrations are designated by letters and numbers for convenience of reference. For example, partial foot amputations are discussed in Chapter III, and the illustrations in that chapter all have the letter C and are numbered in order, 1, 2, 3, etc. Amputations of different sections of the legs and arms are similarly divided and the illustrations numbered in the same manner. This gives definiteness and avoids confusions with earlier publications.

The need of the Prothesist becomes more and more urgent every day. Losses of limbs by accidents and injuries of every kind are constantly multiplying, and the demands made upon the thoughtful and skillful maker of artificial limbs and other surgical apparatus increase in the same proportion.

The successful maker cannot confine himself to the narrow methods of former times. Specific treatment is now called for in almost every case, the peculiarities of each requires closer study, separate methods must be devised by which complicated cases can be treated more skillfully and reparation more complete. These are advanced methods, called for by the progress of the science and necessitated by the importance of the work required. The skillful maker thus occupies a much more prominent position than can be filled by those who persist in clinging to archaic systems. It has been said by those most competent to judge that the house of A. A. Marks through persistent endeavor, broad enterprise, attentive study and a real sense of the importance of the work has earned and occupies the foremost position in its branch of industry.

While the loss of a limb is a serious personal deprivation, it is no longer regarded as a grievous or irreparable one. There are many thousands of people who walk, work and mingle with other people without disclosing their own loss and without suffering. The absence of a leg or an arm, therefore, is now regarded, and quite rightly, as one of the minor misfortunes. Testimonials substantiating these statements, and explaining and endorsing the principles presented in this Manual for the construction of artificial limbs, will be found in copious numbers in Chapter XXXVII.

Comment from follow-up survey
Excellent bed side manner.