What Causes An Accidental Limb Loss?
Many of us are fortunate enough to walk away after a traffic accident. Others of us suffer limb loss, a sudden catastrophic injury which emotionally devastates its victims and their loved ones.
The sudden loss of a limb will leave you having to relearn how to physically navigate your life without the limb. You may have to endure painful and expensive surgeries and rehabilitation. But the physical recovery after the sudden loss of a limb is just one aspect of this tremendous and unexpected loss.
Besides the physical limb loss, you will have to endure the psychological aspect of the loss. The sudden loss of a limb can cause depression and other psychological challenges.
Please keep reading to learn more about limb loss.
How Common Are Amputations?
Limb Loss Statistics
The causes of limb loss are:
- vascular disease (54%), including diabetes and peripheral arterial disease
- trauma (45%), like a serious traffic accident
- cancer (less than 2%). 7
But, when a traumatic amputation occurs, the survivor may have a lifelong disability.
The road to recovery may be physically and psychologically painful, as well as expensive.
What types of auto accidents cause traumatic amputations?
Slamming a car door can also result in a traumatic amputation.
Defective appliances, baby strollers, e-cigarettes, equipment, and machinery.
Dog bite victims can lose fingers or limbs during or as a result of a dog attack.
What Is A "Traumatic Amputation"?
Any loss of a limb is called an amputation.
"Traumatic" amputations are the unplanned loss of a body part, usually a finger, toe, arm, or leg that happens during a trauma, such as a bicycle accident, big truck accident, car accident, dog bite, motorcycle accident or pedestrian accident. 1
Among other parts, amputation of one or more fingers, toes, arms or legs, may occur as the result of an accident or a dog bite. 2
What Is A Limb?
The upper limb has four major parts: a girdle formed by the clavicles and scapulae, the arm, the forearm, and the hand. 3
Anatomy of the upper limb:
- upper arm
- forearm (lower arm)
- thumb 4
The lower limb has four major parts: a girdle formed by the hip bones, the thigh, the leg, and the foot. 5
Anatomy of the lower limb:
- upper leg/thigh
- lower leg
- big toe 6
How Are Limb Amputations Classified?
Amputations are classified by where the amputation occurred on the body. In general, amputations are classified as lower-limb amputations (amputations below the waist, including the legs or feet) or upper-limb amputations (amputations above the waist, including arms or hands). 9
Complete Versus Partial Amputations
If an accident or trauma results the body part being totally severed, this is called a complete amputation. Sometimes, the body part can be reattached. 10
When the body part is not completely severed, this is called a partial amputation. In these cases, some soft-tissue connection remains. Depending on the severity of the injury, the body part may or may not be able to be reattached. 11
What's The Life Impact Of A Lost Limb?
Amputation causes severe stress and challenges the coping abilities of the amputee. 12
That traumatic loss of a limb can be equated with loss of spouse, loss of one's perception of wholeness, symbolic castration, and even death. 13
This may result in the amputee being severely emotionally affected.
The distress caused by the amputation extends beyond the loss of a body part. 14
The need for lifestyle adjustment, like special living accommodations and custom transportation, can cause distress. 15
The psychological impact includes things like feelings of loss, self-stigma, and difficulty coping with the impairment. 16
The accident leading to the amputation may induce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 17
Do I Need An Attorney For My Limb Loss Case?
Traumatic amputations are complex cases. People who lose a digit or limb always need an attorney to represent them.
If your loved one passed away due to a traumatic amputation, please call me about your wrongful death case.
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None of the information on this website of Attorney Renée Yvonne Gardner is offered as medical advice.
If you have been injured in any type of accident, please seek immediate medical attention and follow the advice of your doctor.