22 Apr LIFE BEFORE AND AFTER LIMB LOSS
Limb loss…better known in daily vernacular as amputation. Limb loss is never an easy topic of conversation. Should a person seek an attorney if they or someone they know has undergone a limb loss surgery? Those who have undergone or will undergo limb loss surgery might have many thoughts pre- and post-surgery regarding life adjustments and financial matters–the latter often affecting the former. At the Law Offices of William D. Shapiro, we specialize in personal injury law, and we might be able to provide you with a personal injury attorney in the Inland Empire.
The Shapiro team recognizes that dealing with such a circumstance could be stressful. Medical bills, affordable and practical treatment options, and potential compensation are all thoughts of concern that might arise during this important time in a person’s life. If you’re in the Socal area, having a personal injury attorney in the Inland Empire could help you with your limb loss dealings.
The loss of a part of the body is one of the most invasive interventions that a person can experience. No matter if amputation is a result of losing an arm or a leg, we’ve noted that experiencing such an adjustment is never easy. But it may be a bit easier if one accepts help and advice.
With over four decades of combined experience practicing personal injury law, the Law Offices of William D. Shapiro understand the challenges a person could face when amputation seems to be the only option, and we’re prepared to advocate for you with compassion and extensive experience.
For our local residents and the Inland Empire and surrounding areas, how do you know if you need a personal injury attorney in the Inland Empire? This article hopes to help answer that question for you.
Perhaps you underwent limb loss surgery and still have many questions. Or, maybe you wish you would’ve gotten a personal injury attorney in the Inland Empire involved after the amputation. Is it too late to contact a personal injury attorney in the Inland Empire, or has too much time passed? Let’s consider the information below.
Limb Loss: Talking Numbers
Statistics show that approximately 185,000 amputations occur in the United States each year, with the most common type of amputation being a below-knee amputation. There are nearly 2 million people living with limb loss in the United State, and that number is expected to double by 2050, accounting for 0.96 percent of the population by then. How did that number get so high? Well, with 185,000 people undergoing limb loss surgery, roughly 300 to 500 amputations are being done every 24 hours throughout the nation.
Though the numbers seem staggering, adjusting to life after limb loss isn’t exactly easy contrary to the number of people who have experienced this adjustment. Just how much of a difference limb loss could make to a person’s life could be affected by what steps are or aren’t taken after the surgery. What about treatments?
Life Before and Leading Up To Limb Loss
It’s been noted that patients often feel anxious before an amputation. And it’s understood why anxiety and nervousness might occur. Oftentimes, depression also ensues. This is because something that was once a part of a person is suddenly now gone, and they can’t get it back. But, here’s something to keep in mind: Good preparation helps to heal. Though a person might never fully “heal” from an amputation, there are some practical steps that could be taken to alleviate the newfound circumstances.
If someone has the chance to prepare for an amputation, this time before the operation should be used as efficiently as possible so that the healing and rehabilitation can optimally process. It’s important to take into account both the physical and psychological aspects that arise when dealing with limb loss surgery.
It’s equally important for a person to be informed early by the attending physician about the process and the consequences of the surgery. All questions and uncertainties about the surgical procedure, the treatment, and possible prosthesis should be accordingly addressed.
Likewise, relatives should accordingly be involved in the process of the amputation. They are very important and can actively support the patient both morally and practically–all of which are crucial to the healing process.
As an additional source of information and support, other amputees or designated groups may be consulted. Fear, anxiety, and uncertainty can be reduced by the personal experiences of people who have similar experiences.
Why & How Amputations Occur
Amputations often take place as a product of disease or traumatic injury, with the amputation process aiming to save as much of the patient’s limb as possible. Oftentimes, the surgeon will determine which portion of tissue is damaged and unsalvageable, and which can be saved. Upon making this decision, the blood vessels, bone, and nerves will be sealed off then the muscles will be shaped for a prosthetic attachment. As for the patient, post-surgery is when the challenge begins.
While limb loss surgery is often life-saving, the loss of one’s arm or leg is devastating, both physically and emotionally.
Traumatic injury – As a common cause of amputation, traumatic injuries such as various motor vehicle accidents (cars, boats, and motorcycles) or injuries as a result of war or fighting also contribute to amputation surgeries.
Disease – The most common reason for limb loss is disease and illness ranging from diabetes to cancer.
Life After Limb Loss
For amputation patients, recovery is a long and strenuous 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, perhaps as a unique case of muscle memory.
Besides the physical hardship of an amputation patient, emotional challenges are part of the recovery process as well.
Unfortunately, an amputation is an irrevocable physical change. Any minor amputation of a limb means a loss of a differentiated part of the body of the patient and, consequently the loss of his/her physical integrity. Some medical professionals have even likened the loss of a limb to the loss of a close relative. Even the most sophisticated technology is not able to fully replace this loss with a prosthesis.
But patience, affection, and appropriate support can help the patient cope with the new condition over time.
What To Do After Limb Loss
At the Law Offices of William D. Shapiro, our team recognizes that there is no formula for coping with an amputation. Yet, despite the challenges of experiencing a loss of limb, life could still be just as active and productive as before.
Prosthetic Limbs – Losing a limb is devastating. The most common way to address limb loss is a prosthetic which attempts to at least give the wearer some of the dexterity back that they’ve lost. And as technology advances, so do prosthetics.
Physical therapy – Rehabilitation depends on the combined efforts of many people. Before surgery, a surgeon, prosthetist, and physical therapist discuss plans and goals with the person who requires amputation. The physical therapist and the prosthetist will work together to teach the patient how to care for the residual limb in efforts to promote healing.
Physical therapy will also consist of the patient learning how to wrap the limb to reduce potential swelling. Physical therapy might also consist of dynamic exercises that condition and strengthen the residual limb. The physical therapist will teach specific exercises that flex and tone the muscles.
Personal Injury Attorney – 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. The Law Offices of William D. Shapiro are here to support you in the case of a severe injury and the consequential loss of limb. For Social residents, we could assist by providing you with a personal injury attorney in the Inland Empire and surrounding areas.
How to Seek Additional Help
We could all agree that losing a limb, or any control of your body functions, is one of the most devastating types of injures we can suffer. Even with modern prosthetic devices, medical treatment and physical therapy can require years of effort and expense. The entire family will be affected because of changes that must be made to outfit the house and car with assistive devices.
At the Law Offices of William D. Shapiro, one of the reasons we have the reputation that we do is a result of our strong, experienced team of personal injury attorneys, such as attorney and partner William D. Shapiro. Attorney Shapiro applies his strong work ethic to provide his clients with aggressive representation, helping them recover full monetary damages.
If you’ve experienced limb loss or you know someone who has undergone an amputation procedure, you could agree that losing a limb is never easy–and neither is finding a personal injury lawyer suitable to you. Contact us today for your personal injury attorney in the Inland Empire. We’re here for you.