Facts About Arm Amputation

Did You Know That:

•    Arm amputation is most often due to a traumatic incident involving heavy machinery or a vehicle of some type.  It is also a common injury sustained by persons in the military, with the limb either irreparably damaged by weapon-fire or completely removed by an explosion.

•    Underlying conditions and illnesses can make using prosthesis difficult, even impossible, without the proper attention and care.  Diabetics, for instance, are at especially high risk for skin breakdown, infection and are prone to a particular type of nerve damage known as diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy can be extremely dangerous for a diabetic amputee because it renders the affected limb numb to pain, making it difficult to track the status of a wound without constant monitoring.

•    It is important to exercise the limb that remains after an amputation.  Successfully adapting to and using prosthesis means keeping the stump strong enough to sustain the artificial limb and to move it smoothly and easily. Resistance training and strength training help prevent muscles from atrophying and keeps the rest of the body strong and fit as well. Exercises will also help the Michigan amputee to maintain a good posture, which is vital to successfully rehabilitating and using the prosthesis.

•    Dietary needs increase by as much as 25% right after surgery, but decrease as rehabilitation begins so that an ideal body weight can be maintained.  Proper nutrition and water intake are important to an amputee’s recovery, as well as ensuring the amputee is able to acclimate to a prosthetic successfully.

•    Diseases that are most often linked to the removal of an extremity like an arm are: diabetes, hardening of the arteries, frostbite, gangrene, Raynaud’s disease and Buerger’s disease.  Of these over ninety percent of the amputations preformed in Michigan and throughout the United States are due to complications created by diabetes.

•    Physical therapy and rehabilitation typically begin within 48 hours after an arm amputation.

•    Some arm amputees suffer from phantom limb syndrome where they feel as if their amputated arm is still there.

•    Some arm amputees are able to utilize specialized prosthetics that allow them to participate in sports like cycling, baseball, basketball and tennis.

If you or a loved one is an amputee or may be facing an amputation you can speak with one of our specialists about the prosthetic options available by calling or visiting one of our 21 Michigan locations.

Michigan locations:
Alma, Alpena, Big Rapids, Cadillac, Charlotte, Cheboygan, Fremont, Gaylord, Grand Rapids, Grayling, Greenville, Houghton Lake, Kalamazoo, Ludington, Manistee, Mt. Pleasant, Muskegon, Petoskey, Sault Ste. Marie, St. Ignace, Traverse City