Amputation has many causes.

An amputation is a serious surgical procedure. There are many reasons someone might need an amputation, and about 2 million Americans have undergone the procedure, according to the Amputee Coalition. Let’s look at what can lead to amputation:

Poor circulation

Extremely poor circulation to the extremities because of peripheral arterial disease, in which the arteries narrow or have suffered damage, can cause tissue to die and bring on infections. In this case, the dead tissue must be removed. The most common amputations take place on the leg, just above or below the knee, but many other places can be sites for the procedure. For example, damaged tissue in a single finger or toe can lead to amputation from poor circulation.

Severe injury

If a limb is injured beyond the body’s ability to heal it, even with all that medical science offers, it will be amputated. This may happen from very severe burn wounds or from injuries that happen in situations like car or motorcycle accidents.

Infections that will not get better

When a wound is infected, there are many steps clinicians can take to address this. Improving the patient’s wound care regimen and prescribing antibiotics are generally the steps that lead to healthy wounds that heal properly. However, in some cases, infections will not go away. This can lead to dead tissue and other serious issues, and can mean an amputation is necessary. This may happen to diabetic patients who have severe neuropathy and have left a wound without treatment for too long due to not noticing it.

Preventing amputation

If you currently have a serious, chronic wound, you may worry that amputation is your next step. It doesn’t have to be – but if it is, rest assured that it is the best choice for you and your medical team has made every possible consideration. If you would like to lower your chances of undergoing an amputation procedure, there are a few things you can do:

  • Take care to follow your wound care routine to the letter. Keeping your wound free of infection may mean you will not need an amputation. Ensure you have the proper wound care supplies to perform wound care at home, and consider hiring medical help if you can’t do everything you need to on your own.
  • If you have diabetes, regularly check your feet and legs for diabetic ulcers. These must be addressed promptly to prevent complications, including infections that could lead to amputation. You should also be working with a medical professional to keep your blood sugar at a reasonable level to avoid neuropathy altogether and to keep your circulation healthy.

Advanced Tissue is the nation’s leader in delivering specialized wound care supplies to patients.