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Amputation

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Introduction

Amputation  is the surgical removal of all or part of a limb such as an arm, leg, foot, hand, toe, or finger. There are many reasons an amputation may be necessary. The most common is poor circulation because of damage or narrowing of the arteries, called peripheral arterial disease. Without adequate blood flow, the body's cells cannot get oxygen and nutrients they need from the bloodstream. As a result, the affected tissue begins to die and infection may set in.

Other reasons for amputation may include:

  • Cancerous tumor in the bone or muscle of the limb
  • Serious infection that does not get better with antibiotics or other treatment
  • Thickening of nerve tissue, called a Neuroma.
  • Sugar Diabetes can cause blood sugar levels to stay high, the nerve cells swell and scar. After a while, the nerves can't send messages to the legs and feet the way they should, this causes the skin to die.
  • Pneumococcal Meningitis causes over 20% of its patients to die & 50% suffered from long term complications which include limb amputation. Meningitis can cause Sepsis, which usually begins as Patikia rash, which will gradually result in limb amputation or even death eventually.
  • Frostbite

The Amputation Procedure

An amputation usually requires a hospital stay of five to 14 days or more, depending on the surgery & complications. The procedure itself may vary, depending on the limb or extremity being amputated and the patient's general health.

Amputation may be done under general anesthesia (meaning the patient is asleep) or with spinal anesthesia, which numbs the body from the waist down.

When performing an amputation, the surgeon:

  • removes all damaged tissue while leaving as much healthy tissue as possible, this includes removing the diseased tissue & any crushed bone,
  • Then smoothes uneven areas of bone,
  • Then seals off blood vessels and nerves
  • Then cuts and shapes muscles so that the stump, or end of the limb, will be able to have an artificial limb (prosthesis) attached to it.

This procedure is done to help improve healing & eventual rehabilitation. In many cases a person can be rehabilitated to lead a normal life.

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