Amputation

What is an amputation?

Amputation is an acquired condition that results in the loss of a limb, usually from injury, disease, or surgery. Congenital (present at birth) limb deficiency occurs when an infant is born without part or all of a limb. In the US, 82 percent of amputations are due to vascular disease, 22 percent to trauma, 4 percent are congenital, and 4 percent are due to tumors. About 1.2 million individuals in the US are living with an amputation, with 185,000 performed each year.

What causes the need for amputations?

The causes for amputation may include any of the following:

Rehabilitation after amputation:

Loss of a limb produces a permanent disability that can impact a patient's self-image, self-care, and mobility (movement). Rehabilitation of the patient with an amputation 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:

It is important to focus on maximizing the patient's capabilities at home and in the community. Positive reinforcement helps recovery by improving self-esteem and promoting independence. The rehabilitation program is designed to meet the needs of the individual patient. Active involvement of the patient and family is vital to the success of the program.

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:

The amputation rehabilitation team:

Rehabilitation programs for patients with amputations can be conducted on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Many skilled professionals are part of the amputation rehabilitation team, including any/all of the following:

Types of rehabilitation programs for amputations:

There are a variety of treatment programs, including the following:

Stanford Medicine Resources:

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