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Alternative NamesAmputation - foot; Amputation - leg; Trans-metatarsal amputation; Below knee amputation; BK amputation; Above knee amputation; AK amputation; Trans-femoral amputation; Trans-tibial amputation
Definition Return to top
Leg or foot amputation is the removal of a leg, foot or toes from the body. These body parts are called extremities. Amputations are done either by surgery, or they occur by accident or trauma to the body.
Why the Procedure is Performed Return to top
Reasons for having an amputation of a lower limb are:
Risks Return to top
Risks for any surgery are:
Risks for this surgery are:
Before the Procedure Return to top
When your amputation is planned, you will be asked to do certain things to prepare for it. Always tell your doctor or nurse:
During the days before your surgery, you may be asked to stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin), warfarin (Coumadin), and any other drugs that make it hard for your blood to clot.
Ask your doctor which drugs you should still take on the day of your surgery. If you smoke, stop.
If you have diabetes, follow your diet and take your medicines as usual until the day of surgery.
On the day of the surgery, most times you will be asked not to drink or eat anything for 8 to 12 hours before your surgery.
Take your drugs your doctor told you to take with a small sip of water. If you have diabetes, follow the directions your doctor gave you.
Prepare your home before surgery:
After the Procedure Return to top
Your stump will have a dressing and bandage that will remain on for 3 or more days. Your stump will be painful for the first few days. You will be able to take pain medicine if you want it.
You may have a tube that drains fluid from the wound. This will be taken out after a few days.
Before leaving the hospital, you will begin learning how to:
Fitting for prosthesis, a manmade part to replace your limb, may occur when:
Return to top
Your recovery and ability to function after an amputation depend on many things. Some of these are the reason for the amputation, whether you have diabetes or poor blood flow, and your age.
References Return to top
Heck RK. General principles of amputations. In: Canale ST, Beatty JH, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2007:chap 9.Update Date: 11/10/2008 Updated by: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.