Prosthetics are artificial limbs, which have functionality. For example, a prosthetic leg would allow the user to walk, as if they had their leg.
Prosthetics were first utilized for aesthetic purposes. In other words, people simply wished to appear as if they had their limbs. The needed for prosthetics that could function like limbs became apparent after World War II, when many returning soldiers had lost limbs. The desire to help those soldiers, led to prosthetic limbs that were comfortable, lasted longer and could function like limbs.
Although Hanger Prosthetics had been around before World War II, they were unable to create new technologies in the field of prosthetics. In fact, many companies were struggling to do just that. The Federal government provided funding to advance technology so that returning soldiers would be able to get better medical career.
The new advancements in prosthetics technology led to a union between the orthotics industry and the prosthetics industry. Together, the industries were able to make limbs that lasted longer. In addition, the prosthetic limbs had some functionality, while being comfortable for the user.