How Are Amputations Classified ?

What is an amputation ?

An amputation is a surgical procedure performed to remove a limb or body part that has been damaged or infected. This process may be necessary due to a serious injury, illness, or infection that does not respond to other treatments.

Differences between congenital deficiency and traumatic amputation .

Congenital deficiency is called the absence of one or more parts of the extremities, at birth, the causes of congenital defects are unknown and amputation is the loss of a segment that was present, due to traumatic causes (accidents). or diseases (tumors).

There are also reconstructive amputations, this type of amputation is carried out mainly in the face of congenital problems where the limb does not develop properly, having a fixation point for the placement of a leg prosthesis , or after an injury where the limb is affected. 

Amputation is classified depending on the height at which it is performed .

The usual amputation levels are:

Superior member:

Fingers of the hand.

Partial hand amputation.

Transcarpal/carpal amputation.

Disarticulation of the hand.

Transradial amputation (below-elbow amputation).

Transhumeral amputation (amputation above the elbow).

Shoulder disarticulation and interscapulothoracic amputation.

Lower member:


Part of the foot

Ankle disarticulation or Syme’s.


Knee disarticulation.


Hip disarticulation.


Causes of amputation

There are several causes that may require an amputation , including:

  • Serious injuries affecting bone, muscle, and soft tissue.
  • Diseases such as diabetes, which can cause damage to nerves and blood vessels.
  • Infections that do not respond to other treatments.
  • Tumors affecting bone or soft tissue.
Consequences Of Amputation

Amputation can have a significant impact on a person ‘s life. In addition to the physical loss, it can also affect the mental and emotional health of the patient. Some of the consequences of amputation include:

  • Pain and discomfort in the affected area.
  • Changes in the ability to move and perform daily tasks.
  • Changes in physical appearance and self-esteem.
  • Loss of independence and ability to work.

The patients who come to our prosthesis clinic in Puebla, mostly due to lower limb amputations , tell us that they feel frustrated at the lack of agility they have. If they use crutches, despair appears due to having their hands full and not being able to use them due to fear. of falling, in other cases the same conditions do not allow them to return to their work activities or daily life, while those who use a wheelchair feel frustrated when they need the help of other people to move.

Treatment For An Amputation

Despite the circumstances of an amputation , it is possible to carry out your activities again, through the use of a prosthesis , it should be noted that patients with transfemoral amputation take longer to return to daily life than a patient with transtibial amputation.

If you want to know more about the use of prostheses or amputations , the following blogs will be of interest to you

by Abdullah Sam
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