A motorcycle accident can leave you with catastrophic injuries. In some situations, doctors may decide that the best course of action is to amputate a wounded limb.
Medical complications can sometimes make amputation necessary. According to the Cleveland Clinic, your injury may not heal correctly, and the limb may not receive enough blood flow. This can result in gangrene, or tissue death. When this happens, there may be no other treatment available. Additionally, doctors assess your condition when you first arrive at the hospital after the accident. Some wounds might be so severe that doctors are unable to consider other forms of treatment.
Which limbs do doctors amputate?
When you consider amputation, you may think about large limbs, such as arms and legs. However, surgeons could also remove fingers, hands, feet and toes. Depending on your injury, you may not need a total amputation. A doctor could amputate a portion of your thigh, for example, and take only the part that is unable to heal. Medical professionals might pursue this course of action if your wound develops an infection.
What kind of rehabilitation do you need?
Even losing a small limb can have a significant impact on your life. Stanford Medicine observes that many patients need to undergo rehabilitation to help them cope with the loss of a limb. Doctors usually tailor the rehabilitation program to your specific injury. If you need a prosthesis, for example, you usually undergo training to learn how to work with this limb. You could also require help with your motor skills.
Additionally, you may grieve for your lost limb and experience a negative body image. Rehabilitation programs provide emotional support as you adjust to your new situation.
With time, many people recover from the trauma of this kind of injury.