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Weight Loss after Amputation of Leg



My father is a 79 year old man who was in very good health (except for Type 2 Diabetes). He went in for a Right Total Knee Replacement and due to edema, poor circulation, infections and healing issues, 6 months later his right leg was amputated approximately 8" from the groin. When he went into the hospital originally he was 6`1" and weighed 215 pounds. We weighed him last night and he weighs 155 pounds. How much weight needs to be deducted for the amputated limb. Thanks!


The weight of the amputated limb is dependent upon: 
1) the level of the amputation
2) the presence of additional medical problems, and 
3) the body type of the person. 

Individuals with a more muscular body type will have a heavier leg than those whose body is made up of more fatty tissue since this body type is less dense. Some types of severe swelling such as lymphedema will add a significant amount to the weight of the leg. 

In general the leg is approximately 9-10% of the weight of the entire body. In this case assuming no other significant medical issues, the weight of the entire leg would be around 15 pounds. A reasonable amount of weight for this level of amputation would be around 11 to 12 pounds for a person that weighs 155 pounds.

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Response by:

Joel  Mayerson, MD Joel Mayerson, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Orthopaedics
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University