|Back to article|
Amputation - traumatic
Traumatic amputation is the loss of a body part -- usually a finger, toe, arm, or leg -- that occurs as the result of an accident or injury.
Loss of a body part
If an accident or trauma results in complete amputation (the body part is totally severed), the part sometimes can be reattached, especially when proper care is taken of the severed part and stump.
In a partial amputation, some soft-tissue connection remains. Depending on the severity of the injury, the partially severed extremity may or may not be able to be reattached.
The long-term outcome for amputees has improved due to better understanding of the management of traumatic amputation, early emergency and critical care management, new surgical techniques, early rehabilitation, and new prosthetic designs. New limb replantation techniques have been moderately successful, but incomplete nerve regeneration remains a major limiting factor.
Often, the patient will have a better outcome from having a well-fitting, functional prosthesis than a nonfunctional replanted limb.
Traumatic amputations usually result directly from factory, farm, or power tool accidents or from motor vehicle accidents. Natural disasters, war, and terrorist attacks can also cause traumatic amputations.
Call immediately for emergency medical assistance if
If someone severs a limb, finger, toe, or other body part, you should call immediately for emergency medical help.
Use safety equipment when using factory, farm, or power tools. Wear seat belts when driving a motor vehicle. Always use good judgment and observe appropriate safety precautions.
Halluska-Handy M. Management of amputations. In: Roberts JR, Hedges JR, eds. Clinical Procedures in Emergency Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2009:chap 47.
Lyn ET, Mailhot T. Hand. In: Marx JA, ed. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 47.
Gross KR, Collier BR, Riordan WP Jr, Morris JA Jr. Wilderness trauma and surgical emergencies. In: Auerbach PS, ed. Wilderness Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2011:chap 21.
Reviewed by:Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorousstandards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information andservices. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorialpolicy, editorialprocess, and privacypolicy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch.)
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatmentof any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 2014 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication ordistribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.