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Amputation of a body part is a "life-changing event." Body image, mood, mobility, ability to care for one's self, work, and non-work-related activities are all affected. Many issues arise following the loss of all or part of a person's limb(s); however, the long-term outcomes for amputees continue to improve.


Amputation Statistics

Although over 90% of limb loss is "acquired", up to 4% is congenital (present at birth). Of the roughly 185,000 amputation surgeries performed each year in the United States,

  • up to 90% are due to vascular disease (circulation problems), especially in people with diabetes, but also in non-diabetic smokers.
  • the remaining ~10% are needed, either after limb trauma or as part of the treatment for benign or malignant limb tumors.

While over 90% of amputations caused by vascular disease involve the lower limb, nearly 70% of amputatio (More)

Understanding Amputation

  • Amputation Overview
  • Diabetes and African Americans
  • Keeping Diabetics' Feet and Toes Healthy
  • Amputation (Healthfinder.gov)
  • Amputation: Traumatic
  • Disabilities
  • Rehabilitation (Merck Manual)

  • Commonly Asked Questions

    View All Q&As

  • Can a Double Amputee Get Two Artificial Legs?
  • Do I Need a Handicap Van?
  • How Long Can Pain Be Expected?
  • Is Above or Below the Knee Amputation Better?
  • Knee Fusion or Above-the-Knee Amputation?
  • What are my Options for Artificial Limbs?
  • What Are the Complications of Amputation?
  • What Cosmetic Prostheses Are Available?
  • Why Does My Back Hurt?

  • Additional Information

  • Symptoms and Tests
  • Treatment
  • Complications
  • Meet Our Experts

    NetWellness Expert Blair  Vermilion

    Blair Vermilion, MD
    The Ohio State University

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    Last Updated: Feb 21, 2014