If you learn that your loved one needs an amputation, you probably feel concerned. You may have questions about this issue. You might wonder why this needs to happen, how your loved one faced an injury, or when the amputation will occur. The first thing you should know is to not panic. Amputations happen to preserve the health of your loved one. If a doctor informs you that your loved one needs an amputation, it will help your loved one. It should improve their health. Amputations on the elderly have saved lives in the past.
Amputations on the elderly commonly happen for medical reasons. They can remove infected, ischemic, and necrotic tissues from the effected individual’s body. Some diseases such as diabetes and peripheral artery disease may also require amputation. Elderly amputations often happen in hopes of saving the individual’s life.
Each case is unique, but there are several types of amputations that are common for the elderly.
Types of Amputation
- Partial Foot Amputation. These amputations generally include toes. They may affect how the individual walks or their ability to walk in the future. Generally this kind of amputation is done to stop an infection from spreading. The amputation of a large portion of a foot is a controversial topic for doctors.
- Transtibial Amputation. These generally happen from the midsection of the shin of the effected individual. Patients generally can walk with a prosthetic leg. If the amputation must be done further up, then the knee is generally preserved. This is done in hopes that the individual may walk somewhat normally again.
- Partial Hand Amputation. This can apply to any part of a finger or a full finger. This can make it difficult for an elderly individual to grasp objects. But, they can learn to cope and live normally with this form of amputation.
- Metacarpal Amputation. This means the removal of the entire hand while the wrist is still intact. There are prosthetics for this type of surgery that may help the individual cope with the life change.
- Wrist Disarticulation. This is similar to metacarpal amputation, but the wrist is also removed along with the hand. This can be a challenging amputation to find a proper prosthetic for.
- Transracial Amputation. This means the removal of the limb beginning at the middle of the forearm. Any type of prosthetic for this area would be difficult to use for the affected individual.
Oftentimes, amputation is the result of an issue that is out of a doctor or caretaker’s control. But, if a patient is neglected or treated improperly, someone might be at fault. If you believe that your loved one’s amputation could have been avoided by proper care, you may have a personal injury case. You should contact a personal injury lawyer for more information.
It is always important to find a nursing home or caretaker that is diligent in protecting the elderly. The home should protect residents from unwanted complications to their illnesses. It can be devastating for your loved one to face an amputation that could have been avoided by proper care. The best way to prevent these issues is by making sure that the nursing home you choose is committed to preventative and continued care.