Categories of Amputation

Traumatic

This type of amputation involves the removal of a body extremity in an unexpected and violent incident.

A traumatic amputation can be life-threatening if there is a great loss of blood, as the body could go into circulatory shock.

Surgical

Amputation by surgery is usually required if the blood supply to an extremity has been restricted or cut off, which causes a wasting condition called necrosis.

Surgical amputation may also be necessary after a serious injury to remove a limb that has been too severely damaged that it cannot possibly be repaired.

An amputee may undergo numerous surgeries and treatments in order to make the wound safe, during which medical professionals will attempt to retain as much of a limb as possible so some functionality can be preserved.

Examples of surgical amputation include:

  • Digit amputation: the removal of one or multiple fingers or thumb at the joint
  • Transradial amputation: the removal of the lower arm below and not including the elbow
  • Shoulder disarticulation: the removal of the arm at shoulder level
  • Ankle disarticulation: the removal of the foot through the ankle joint
  • Knee disarticulation: the removal of the lower leg through the knee joint
  • Transfemoral amputation: the removal of the leg below and not including the hip