It is estimated there are in the neighborhood of 1.7 million people in the United States who are currently living with the loss of a limb. Do a little math and you will conclude that in America, one out of every 200 people has had an amputation. But just why do all these amputations occur? There are any number of reasons people suffer an amputation, with the majority due to complications with diabetes. Surgical amputations typically fit into these categories:
- Congenital Defects
Over 80 percent of amputations are directly related to vascular problems associated with the blood vessels. And of these, around 97 percent involve lower limb amputation. However, when discussing amputations due to trauma or injury, nearly 70 percent involve an upper limb.
There are any number of amputations that can take place. Anything from a thumb to a leg can be amputated. On the upper body, fingers are the most commonly amputated part. The thumb is the most commonly amputated digit. When this occurs, a person with an amputated thumb faces challenges involving the ability to grasp. When it comes to lower body amputations, the toe is the most commonly amputated part. The biggest reason one might lose a toe is due to frostbite. And while one might not think an amputated toe would cause any problems, it would be a wrong assessment. Those who suffer an amputated toe have issues with balance, which affects how they walk.
But with great technological advances in prosthetics, including the bionic prosthetic socket, the majority of amputees lead perfectly normal lives.