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Quick link to the information of your choice on Amputation/Limb Differences:
- Loss of limb or part of limb.
- Surgical amputation: removal of diseased limb.
- Congenital amputation: missing or shortened at birth.
- Trauma/accident -from factory, farm, or power tool accidents or from motor vehicle accidents, natural disasters, war, and terrorist attacks
- Poor circulation - such as blood vessel disease ( Peripheral Vascular Disease), Diabetes or Blood Clots
- Chronic infection - such as Osteomyelities (an infection in the bones)
- Congenital limb deficiency
- Loss of function or mobility.
- Can impact a patient's self-image and self-care.
Use safety equipment and safe practices when using factory, farm, or power tools. Wear seat belts when driving a motor vehicle.
Use safety precautions at all times.
The Diabetes Council recently published an editorial column
‘Diabetes and Amputation:
Everything You Need To Know To Avoid Amputation' This is a very informative and useful article providing everything that you need to know about how to avoid an extremity amputation due to diabetes and when to contact your doctor.
People with diabetes can be plagued with a whole host of skin and foot problems related to
Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), and to diabetic neuropathy, or nerve damage that occurs
from years of high blood sugars. A small nick in the skin can lead to a non-healing ulcer
which can quickly turn to gangrene and necessitate amputation. The article includes practical
foot and skin care – what you can do to prevent amputation.
For more on prevention, visit our NHU resource page Amputation Prevention
- People are more alike than they are different.
- Identify and develop an appreciation for each persons strengths and accomplishments.
- Become aware of the affect on daily activities.
- People First Language from disabilityisnatural.com by Kathie Snow offers insight into society's use of language when using the term disability. The term disability is a societal construct to identify characteristics related to a medical condition that may entitle an individual for services or legal protections. The use of this language encourages freedom, respect and inclusion for all, and recognizes forms of language that can isolate, create negative stereotypes and place attitudinal barriers for individuals. "Using People First Language, putting the person before the disability—and eliminating old, prejudicial, and hurtful descriptors, can move us in a new direction. People First Language is not political correctness; instead, it demonstrates good manners, respect, the Golden Rule, and more—it can change the way we see a person, and it can change the way a person sees themself!" For more articles by Kathie Snow to "help us begin to use more respectful and accurate language and create positive change," visit People First Language and More
Phantom limb pain, stump pain and phantom limb sensation describe the feelings of people who are missing a limb or part of a limb.
Visit our NHU Community Forum on Amputation/Limb Differences for more insight, awareness, viewpoints, experiences, needs and solutions.
Needs and Solutions
- Emergency and critical care management
- Prosthesis - artificial limb
Treatment and Rehabilitation
Rehabilitation begins after surgery during the acute treatment phase. As the patient's condition improves, a more extensive rehabilitation program is often begun.
The success of rehabilitation depends on many variables, including the following:
- How well the rehabilitation meets the needs of the individual patient
- Level and type of amputation
- Type and degree of any resulting impairments and disabilities
- Impact of patients self-image
- Overall health of the patient
- Family support
The goal of rehabilitation after an amputation is to help the patient return to the highest level of function and independence possible, while improving the overall quality of life - physically, emotionally, and socially.
In order to help reach these goals, amputation rehabilitation programs may include the following:
- Treatments to help improve wound healing and stump care.
- Activities and training to help improve motor skills, restore activities of daily living (ADLs), and help the patient reach maximum independence.
- Exercises that promote muscle strength, endurance, and control.
- Fitting and use of artificial limbs (prostheses).
- Pain management for both post-operative and phantom pain (a sensation of pain that occurs below the level of the amputation).
- Emotional support to help during the grieving period and with readjustment to a new body image.
- Understand the types, functions and limitations of prostheses.
- Understand the sensations of phantom limb pain.
- Understand the grieving of loss of limb.
- Hygiene and nutritional counseling to promote healing and health.
- Vocational counseling.
- Positive Reinforcement.
- Adapting the home environment for ease of function, safety, accessibility, and mobility.
- Opportunities in the home and in the community
- Patient and family education
Learn More about Amputation and Limb Loss
To learn more about Amputation and Limb Loss, find other related resources by searching the Limb Loss Resource Center.
This comprehensive limb loss catalog offer resources amputation level, by topic, or by use and an ask an information specialist. Materials (full text and abstracts) are provided in several formats: inMotion articles, First Step articles, Fact Sheets and Insights, Spanish translations, books, electronic resources, serials, newsletters, and pertinent periodical articles. Contact the Limb Loss Information Center, at Headquarters, 9303 Center Street, Suite 100
Manassas, VA 20110, or Branch Office at 900 East Hill Ave. Suite 285, Knoxville, TN 37909 or call 888-267-5669, TTY 865-525-4512 or e-mail them using their form on their website
Person to Person, by L. Gething, Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., Baltimore, Maryland, 1992, p. 63.
- Disability and Rehabilitation Handbook, by Robert Goldenson, McGraw-Hill, New York, NY, 1978, p.219.
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: Medline Plus
- Living with Limb Differences: a guide for people to deal with limb loss and working with prostheses, Amputee Coalition. Link no longer available.
- University of Virginia, Health System, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Amputation
For more on the topic of Amputation/Limb Differences
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[Updated August 31, 2017]
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