Living With an Amputation
I’m Ed Smith, a personal injury lawyer in Sacramento. An amputation is a complicated surgical procedure that is only performed if absolutely necessary. Some relevant information regarding amputations include:
- Over half of amputations completed occur due to poor vascularization in the limb
- Almost half of the individuals who lose a limb due to blood supply die before the five-year mark
- People of African-American descent are practically four-times as likely to have an amputation when compared to the national average
- Close to 200,000 amputations are performed in the United States on an annual basis
Prior to the operation, the surgeon will carefully mark the amputation injury site to ensure that the proper limb is removed. This is done to prevent wrong-site surgeries, a potentially devastating mistake. As the patient is taken to the operating room, anesthesia will be given to put the patient to sleep and to remove pain. Once the patient is asleep, paralyzing agents will be used to keep the individual still. When the amputation begins, the nerves, arteries, and veins are removed carefully. This is performed to ensure that any bleeding and pain is minimized. A skin flap will be left to ensure that the limb stump can be efficiently covered. This coverage is essential for not only aesthetic reasons but also to prevent infections as well. As the person wakes up, the process of living with an amputation will begin. Having an amputation represents a tremendous lifestyle change that not only the individual but also the family will have to adjust to. There are a few common hurdles that everyone with an amputation needs to overcome.
Watch YouTube Video ~ Life After Amputation. Stage 1: Denial. Watch the video below to hear Megan’s experience with amputation. We hope you find it helpful.
Common Challenges After an Amputation
When someone has undergone an amputation, there are several common challenges that they will face. Living with an amputation is an experience that few can comprehend, and some of the common issues include:
Emotional Distress: When someone loses a limb, it can be a challenge to process what has happened emotionally. Rates of mental health conditions among amputees are high. Some studies have found the rates of depression among amputees to be close to 40 percent. People should know that resources are available. Meeting with someone to discuss emotional distress can be therapeutic for many people.
Pain: Even though the limb is gone, it is not unusual for people to feel pain. Sometimes, individuals will even feel pain in the limb that has been removed. This is called phantom limb, and the pain can be severe. Furthermore, some studies have indicated that close to 90 percent of people will feel a “phantom limb” at some point.
Ambulating: Without a doubt, ambulation after an amputation is one of the most significant challenges. It can be frustrating to struggle to perform tasks that people used to do quickly. Adjusting to having a missing limb can be a challenge, making work and transportation difficult. It is important to remember that this adjustment will take some time, mainly if a prosthesis is being used. Importantly, help is available to anyone who needs it.
Watch Youtube Video ~ Getting Dressed With One Arm. Megan explains how she learned to dress after she lost her arm. We hope Megan’s tips and tricks will prove useful to anyone experiencing the loss of one of their arms.
Advice from a Legal Adviser
It is not unusual for people to face challenges with many of the issues above. People will try to handle difficulties on their own to retain independence. While independence is essential, these issues can be overwhelming for the average person. Speaking with an amputation attorney in Sacramento can be helpful. A lawyer can:
- File claims necessary to recover financial compensation for your amputation injury and future care
- Speak with employers and negotiate better working conditions
- Talk with medical equipment companies about coverage for essential supplies
- Negotiate with health insurance companies to cover the costs associated with long-term care
- Meet with landlords to have accommodations made in living spaces
- File paperwork with the courts if necessary
Related Articles by Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers
Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a personal injury lawyer in Sacramento. Living with an amputation can be a challenge, and anyone who feels like they are struggling can call me using (916) 921-6400. I am happy to share some friendly, free legal advice. People from outside of Sacramento can speak with me on our toll-free line: (800) 404-5400.
I am a trial lawyer in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Feel free to look at some of my earlier verdicts or settlements here.
Image Sourcing: The picture at the start of this page was located first on Unsplash. The image has been reproduced at this site with permission
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