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Causes Of Amputation


Sometimes a person loses a body part due to injury or illness. This is called amputation and it refers to the loss of a hand, foot, leg, arm, finger, or toe. Amputation is a serious injury that can affect mobility and a person’s everyday life.

Amputation is often caused by accidents, but can also be caused by certain illnesses as well. In some cases, the amputation may be apparent at birth. By knowing the causes of amputation, you can be prepared and hopefully prevent such a tragedy from occurring.


Approximately 45% of amputations are caused by trauma. Trauma may include car accidents, workplace accidents, and combat injuries. The amputation can be caused by a body part being torn off, but in some cases, the limb may be crushed so badly that it cannot be saved, requiring an amputation. Trauma can also cut off blood flow, causing tissue death. One common example is frostbite, which causes damage to blood vessels. In these situations, the body parts will need to be removed.


Surgical amputation accounts for 54% of amputation. It occurs when a body part is diseased and needs to be removed so that it does not endanger a person’s life. Most surgical amputations are caused by vascular diseases, such as diabetes and peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Vascular problems often result in tissue death in the legs, feet, and toes. However, amputation can only do so much. After undergoing an amputation, close to half of all patients will sadly die within five years.

Surgical amputation is sometimes done for cancer patients as well, although it is much more rare, accounting for just 2% of amputations. Sarcomas are types of cancers that can affect bone and soft tissue in the limbs. If the cancer is large or aggressive or spreads into the blood vessels or nerves, amputation might be necessary. Amputations of the arms, legs, hands, and feet are common. When cancer affects the upper leg, a procedure called hip disarticulation may be performed. This amputation removes the entire femur, or thigh bone, from the pelvis.

Amputations may also be performed for severe sepsis, or blood poisoning. Sepsis can cause tissue to die in the limbs. In these cases, an amputation may be necessary to save a person’s life.


Congenital amputation refers to a missing hand, arm, foot, or leg at birth. It is often caused by blood clots forming while the child is in the womb. In these situations, children may undergo surgery later on or be fitted with artificial limbs if these treatments could improve the child’s function.

Contact Us Today

An amputation is a life-changing experience. It’s common to feel angry and depressed about your situation.

Fortunately, you can seek compensation if your amputation was caused by a third party. Seek legal help from a Columbia amputation lawyer from Simmons Law Firm. While you can never regrow your missing limb, advances in technology and medicine have allowed patients to better manage their condition with prosthetics and other devices. To schedule a free consultation, call (803) 779-4600 or fill out the online form.



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