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Artificial Limb Centre

alcThe Artificial Limb Centre was established at Poona in 1944 under the command of Lt Col DS Vohra to provide artificial limb, appliances and deliver rehabilitative care to the gallant soldiers of the Indian Army, who lost their limbs in combat.  ALC moved to Lahore (in present day Pakistan) in early 1947.  In this period some technicians and surgeons from the centre were sent to England for training.  Independence on 15 Aug 1947 brought partition.  A few of these dedicated individuals opted to come back to India and re-started the Artificial Limb Centre at Poona.
Although ALC was raised with the primary objective of meeting the prosthetic and orthotic requirements of disabled personnel of the armed forces, from 1951 the facilities were gradually extended to civilians as well.  In 1958, a 70 bedded civilian wing was added to this Centre.  A 120 bedded ward was already authorized for Defence Services personnel and ex-servicement.  In 1964, sub centre were established at Delhi and Lucknow to provide repair facilities.  Additional sub centre have since been established at Chandimandir, Guwahati and Bangalore.

The Artificial Limb Centre has received ISO 9001 : 2000 certification.  The motto of the centre is to “Make the Dream of Every Amputee to Walk Come True”.

Special features of ALC

  • “State of the Art: Limb manufacturing facilities.
  • Modern CAD-CAM system for precision engineering & manufacturing of socket.
  • Workshop for manufacture of Prosthesis, orthosis and walking aids.
  • Comprehensive rehabilitation of disabled patients.
  • Unique Prosthetic Management of Limb Injuries.
  • Endoskeletal Carbon Fibre Prostheses with PU Moulded foot
  • Modern Above Knee Prostheses
  • Myoelectric Upper Limb Prostheses
  • Museum with over 500 artificial limbs of historical value.

Facilities

The Centre is self sufficient in all respects.  Materials used for manufacture of limbs are mostly indigenous. Components are manufactured either locally at this Centre or at the ALC Cell in 512 Army Base Workshop.  ALC also provides technical know how and material to other limb centres at Govt. Hospitals in various parts of the country.  The Centre has also been participating in exhibitions to educate patients about the facilities available here.

Quest for Perfection

Concerted efforts are made to conduct research work and improve the quality of artificial Limbs and appliances.  There is a special emphasis on use of newer material and technology.  Efforts are made to keep pace with similar advanced centres all over the World.

Keeping Pace with Times

Artificial Limb Centre has had to adapt to changing needs of patients to uphold its long tradition of providing the best chance for rehabilitation.  Changes have been made in basic raw material as well as technology in manufacture of prosthesis.  Wood which formed the basic material for manufacture of Limbs has given way to plastic lamination using epoxy resins and polypropylene.

Patient’s Participation

Almost 50,000 disabled persons are registered at ALC.  Out of them almost 28,000 visit the centre regularly for repairs and replacement of their artificial limbs.  Patients are the best source of feedback.  Their suggestions were noted and products were improved to provide better satisfaction.

Rehabilitation

The Artificial Limb Centre which began with the aim of providing limbs gradually started focusing on rehabilitation.  Occupational therapy was started by training amputees in knitting of stump socks and printing.  Efforts at enhancing computer literacy were well received by the patients.  Recreational activities were commenced and the Centre hosted the first National Games for the disabled.  The centre has evolved from a production unit into a unique organization with both, a workshop and a hospital.  Till date it is the only one of its kind in the armed forces.

Landmark Visits

The centre has over the years had the privilege of being visited by luminaries such as President Shri VV Giri, Prime Minister Smt Indira Gandhi, Defence Minister Shri Jagjivan Ram, Cabinet Minister Smt Maneka Gandhi and both serving as well as retired service chiefs.  Dignataries have been deeply impressed by the centre.

Laurels

Apart from achieving the coveted ISO 9001:2000 certification, the centre has received several awards including the Maharashtra State Award and the National Technology Award.

The Road Ahead

The Artificial Limb Centre has embarked on a mission to adopt the latest technology of Computer aided designing and manufacture.  The centre is one of few institutions anywhere in the world to have this technology.  An endoskeletal unit has been dove tailed with this project to make ALC the only centre anywhere in the world manufacturing both endoskeletal and conventional limbs together.