10 Jun Life After Limb Loss
Though seemingly rare, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated two million people living in the US have experienced the loss of a limb. More than 500 people undergo an amputation procedure every day. And while amputation is often life-saving, the loss of one’s arm or leg is devastating, both physically and emotionally. It can often take place as a product of disease or traumatic injury.
Common reasons for limb loss:
Accidents are a common cause of limb amputation. These often various motor vehicle accidents, including cars, boats, and motorcycles. In the case that someone loses their limb to a traumatic injury, it was likely done to save that individual’s life.
The amputation process aims to save as much of the patient’s limb as possible. The surgeon will determine which portion of their tissue is damaged and unsalvageable, and which they can save. Upon making this decision, they will seal off blood vessels, bone, and nerves. The muscles will then be shaped for a prosthetic attachment. And for the patient, the completion of surgery is when their greatest challenge begins.
For amputation patients, recovery is a long and arduous process. It requires months or even years of physical therapy amid exceptional pain. Phantom pains are a common phenomenon in which an amputee feels physical pain in the limb that no longer exists. They’ll feel shooting pain, burning and even itching. Although it is not yet completely understood as to why this happens, patients report this experience for extended periods. It is suspected that it occurs when the brain forms memories of the body’s lost nerves. Besides the physical hardship of an amputee patient, these individuals face an emotionally challenging recovery as well.
Depression is among the greatest concerns for those who’ve lost a limb. It is an experience that can change so much about their way of life, especially in the initial stages of recovery. This person is suddenly unable to move like they once could. It may affect their work, favorite activities, and certainly their day-to-day life. While with time, they will learn to live with this new disability, it is a traumatic and emotional process.
Despite the challenges of their situation, there is hope for those who lose a limb. Prosthetic limbs and the effects of physical therapy continue to advance for the benefit of these patients. And in the midst of it all, it is crucial that patients receive emotional support from family and friends. Though seemingly insurmountable, the devastation of losing a limb can be overcome with perseverance, hope, and relentless support.
If you or a loved one has lost a limb in an accident and require legal guidance, please do not hesitate to reach out for help. We at The Law Offices of William D. Shapiro understand the challenges you face and are prepared to advocate for you with compassion and extensive experience. For justice in the case of a severe injury and the consequential loss of limb, we are here for you.