Delving Deep into the Causes and Implications of Amputation

Delving Deep into the Causes and Implications of Amputation

A total or partial amputation is when a person loses a limb from their body due to a condition such as burns, diabetes, vascular diseases, trauma, etc. Surgical amputations, traumatic amputations, or congenital amputations must be surgically intervened to preserve the patient’s life.

Types Of Amputation

Different types of amputation have been classified depending on the affected limb; for this reason, PrimeCare for example will focus on those that are most common below:

Upper Extremity Amputation

Some of the most common upper limb amputations are:

  • Amputation of arm or forearm.
  • Finger amputation.
  • Wrist amputation.

Likewise, amputations in the upper extremities can occur, for example, due to metacarpal disarticulation, elbow disarticulation, shoulder disarticulation, transhumeral (above the elbow), etc. The level of amputation will depend on the condition.

Lower Extremity Amputation

Some of the most common lower limb amputations are:

  • Leg amputation.
  • Toe amputation.
  • Supracondylar amputation.
  • Infrapatellar amputation.

Finally, in the lower limbs, the amputations that occur most frequently are in the fingers, amputations due to complications in the disarticulation of the knee, transfemoral (above the knee), transtibial (below the knee), for Syme-Pyrogoff (from ankle disarticulation), from rotation in the foot (Van-ness) and hip disarticulation.

In this sense, we can highlight that, among the different types of amputation mentioned above, those that tend to be more radical than the rest are those that are carried out at the waist, also known as Hemicorporectomy (trans lumbar amputation and body transaction), it is a radical amputation.

Another of the radical amputations are those that are carried out in the part of the genitals, for example, complete amputation of the penis.

Causes Of Amputation

According to studies on causes of amputation, the percentage of amputations carried out with the highest proportion (82%) is due to pathological causes, the most common being vascular diseases and diabetes. Likewise, 18% of amputations are due to injuries received mainly in the upper extremities, which shows that most amputations are performed due to diseases and, to a lesser extent, occupational, domestic, or traffic accidents.

The National Limb Loss Information Center has confirmed that, in one year, about 185,000 amputations are performed in the United States. It is estimated that throughout the nation, more than 2 million people present amputation in one of their extremities.

On the other hand, among the causes that exist for the need for an amputation, some diseases cause deterioration in the blood vessels; diabetes is also a terrible disease, and more and more people suffer from it, in their majority, due to metabolic syndromes and an unbalanced diet.

An amputation can also occur due to infections; mostly, amputation is applied to avoid endangering the patient’s life or so that the disease does not spread; it occurs mainly when the infection is so advanced that antibiotic treatments do not provide the expected results. Another cause of limb amputations is the appearance of muscle or bone tumors requiring a partial or total amputation.

In general, amputation occurs when there is no alternative, and the person must decide and assume responsibility between losing a limb or losing a life. The causes of amputation can vary; it will always depend on the patient’s condition and the medical assessment of each case.

Eula J. McLaughlin

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