Types of Amputation

Lower Limb Amputation

Lower body, foot amputations commonly involve toe amputations that will affect walking and balance.

Ankle disarticulations is an amputation of the entire ankle leaving a person still able to move around without a prosthesis.

Below-knee amputations or transtibial amputations involve amputations above the ankle, but below the knee. Full knee use is retained, but it is difficult for these amputees to put any weight on the remaining stump.

Knee-bearing amputations involve a complete removal of the lower leg. The remaining stump is still able to bear weight but it is difficult to create a prosthesis. Above knee amputations or transfemoral amputations are amputations made at thigh level. Entire body weight cannot be borne on the stump, but a person is still able to sit upright. Hip disarticulations involves removing the entire leg bone. Surgeons will commonly leave the upper femur for stability and a place for a prosthesis to be fitted.

Upper Limb Amputation

Hand and partial-hand amputations including digital amputations can include fingertips and parts of the fingers. The thumb is the most common single digit loss. The loss of a thumb inhibits grasping ability. When other fingers are amputated, the hand can still grasp but with less precision.

Multiple-Digit Amputations are when more than one finger is amputated, surgical procedures are used to reconstruct muscles to help aid grasping capabilities.

Wrist disarticulations involves the removal of the hand at the wrist joint. Plastic sockets can now be made to serve as wrists.

Metacarpal Amputations involve removing the entire hand with the wrist still intact leaving the amputee completely unable to grab.

Elbow disarticulations or transradial amputation is the removal of the whole forearm at the elbow. This amputation creates a bulb shaped stump that can bear weight.

Transhumeral amputation is the removal of the arm from above the elbow.

Shoulder disarticulation and forequarter amputation is the removal of the entire arm including the shoulder blade and collar bone.