An amputation related injury can either happen as a direct result of an accident or can be performed post-accident to remove damaged tissue or relieve pain. It is estimated that 65,000 amputations are performed in the United States each year (although 90% are due to circulatory complications of diabetes).
After the body part is removed, a flap is constructed of muscle, connective tissue, and skin to cover the raw end of the bone. Stitches stay in place for about a month and physical therapy and rehabilitation are started as soon as possible.
The length of time in the hospital can vary based on the severity of the injury and other associated injuries. In any case, it is important to engage in therapy early and often. This includes psychological counseling to address the sense of loss most amputees experience and potential phantom limb syndrome.
Infection is a special concern with amputation. Infection rates in amputations average 15%. If infection occurs, it is sometimes necessary to re-amputate the limb at a higher level.
Non-healing and or delayed healing is another unfortunate complication of amputation injuries, usually due to an inadequate blood supply. Centers that specialize in amputation usually have the lowest rates of complication making facility selection very important.
The goals of rehabilitation therapy are to increase the patient’s level of function for everyday tasks such dressing, walking, bathing and grooming. In most cases, use of prosthesis is recommended by the treating doctor and is a part of the rehabilitation program. Paradigm plays an active role in helping throughout all aspects of care and rehabilitation.