Amputations and Limb Loss

According to the National Limb Loss Information Center, approximately 1.7 million people in the United States are living with the loss of some (an incomplete amputation) or all (a complete amputation) of a foot, loss of a leg, loss of a hand, or loss of an arm.  As many as one in every two hundred people have undergone an amputation of a finger or fingers, or amputation of a toe or toes.

Car accidents, construction site accidents and medical malpractice cause many amputations, which are separated into four primary categories:
  • dysvascular-related amputations;
  • trauma-related amputations;
  • cancer-related amputations; and
  • congenital-related amputations.
Dysvascular-related amputations are due to vascular disease (i.e., circulation problems) such as diabetes and peripheral vascular disease.  They are the most common, accounting for 82% of all limb losses.  Lower limb amputations account for 97% of all dysvascular amputations.  Of those, 26% were above the knee amputations (AK amputations), 28% were below the knee amputations (BK amputations), and 43% were lower limb amputations at other levels.  Dysvascular-related amputations are more commen in men than women, and are more common in smokers and in non-smokers.

Trauma-related amputations, such as when an arm or leg is severed in a car accident, are the second most common type of amputation.  More trauma-related amputations (i.e., 68%) are of the upper limbs.  Trauma-related amputations are more common in men than women, and most frequently involve loss of a finger (51%), and loss of a thumb (12%).  Least common trauma amputations are shoulder, transhumeral and transradial.

Cancer-related amputations are the next frequent.  If a cancerous tumor is located within a limb, that limb may be amputated in order to prevent the cancer from spreading to other regions of the body, or to remove a limb severely ravaged by cancer.  Amputation may also be joined with radiati, or chemotherapy to increase the efficacy of a cancer operation.  One our of every three cancer-related amputations is of the lower limbs.

Many people who have lost a limb or undergone an amputation are candidates for an artificial limb, also known as a prosthetic limb, which attaches to a stump.  There are four main types of artificial limbs:
  • transtibial (replacing a leg missing below the knee);
  • transfemoral (replacing a les missing above the knee);
  • transradial (replacing an arm missing below the elbow); and
  • transhumeral (replacing an arm missing above the elbow).
The trial lawyers at Bottar Law, PLLC, have decades of experience investigating, prosecuting and trying to verdict severe personal injury and medical malpractice cases involving the loss of a limb or an amputation.  If you or your loved on have lost a limb, your and your family may be entitled to compensation for lifelong health care, medical expenses, medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering. 

To discuss your case or concerns with an experienced Central New York personal injury attorney, contact us now at (315) 422-3466, (800) 336-LAWS, or by e-mail at