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The Jaipur Foot was developed at the SMS Medical College Hospital, Jaipur, in 1968, by a group of eminent orthopaedic surgeons and a highly innovative craftsman.

The first scientific publication on the Jaipur Foot was by Dr PK Sethi, director and professor of rehabilitation, SMS Medical College, Jaipur; Dr SC Kasliwal; Dr MP Udawat; and master Ram Chandra.

Although the design was developed to meet the socio-cultural needs of handicapped people in India — with their unique needs for a prosthetic that would permit them to squat, sit cross-legged, walk on uneven terrain, work in wet muddy fields, walk without shoes, and so on — it has proved to be a 'universal design' and can interface with prosthetic technology used around the globe.

The Jaipur Foot distinguishes itself from other artificial feet by not having a central keel, thus permitting mobility in all planes despite being non-articulated. The dorsiflexion at the ankle, a special feature of the foot, addresses the cultural and lifestyle needs of Oriental people; however, this positively influences the performance of amputees even in Western societies.

A biomechanical comparison of the Jaipur Foot with the SACH and Seattle Foot was undertaken at the Royal Liverpool Hospital, UK, by Prof Klenerman. The results showed that the performance of the Jaipur Foot was more natural and closer to the movements of the normal human foot as compared to the SACH and Seattle Foot.

Owing to its performance, it has transcended geographical boundaries and is being used by handicapped people in over 40 countries around the world. It is the most widely used prosthetic foot in the world.

The impact of the Jaipur Foot was pertinently described in Time magazine (fall 1997 issue) thus: "People who live inside the world's many war zones from Afganistan to Rwanda may never have heard of New York or Paris but they are likely to know a town in Northern India called Jaipur. Jaipur is famous in strife-torn areas as the birthplace of an extraordinary artificial limb known as the Jaipur Foot that has revolutionized life for millions of landmine amputees."

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Featuring the extraordinary Jaipur Foot