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Yanke Bionics - What to Expect

General prosthetic information

General information on the cause and predominence of amputations.

Causes of Amputations

There are four major causes of lower-limb amputation: vascular disease, trauma, tumors and congenital birth defects. The majority of amputations result from vascular disease.

  1. Vascular diseases, with or without diabetes, produce the largest group of amputations. Data from the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education reveals that 54,000 major lower-limb amputations were performed on patients with diabetes in the United States in 1990. Patients with diabetes who are 65 years of age and older, account for 61% of all diabetic-related lower-extremity amputations.
  2. Trauma (such as accidents) is the second major cause of amputations. For the most part, amputees who have lost a limb due to trauma are young and healthy and progress with rehabilitation very quickly without complications.
  3. Tumors most often occur in the long bones and soft tissue of young people from the ages of 11-20, although tumors may occur at any age. Prompt and proper diagnosis is very important to take full advantage of the treatments available to retard further growth of the tumor. Once identified and after treatment has begun, prosthetic rehabilitation can begin. Although many amputees may receive other therapies, including radiation and chemotherapy, prosthetic rehabilitation can occur simultaneously.
  4. Congenital limb deficiency results from the failure of all or part of a limb to form. Children born with congenital limb deficiencies may undergo surgical revision in order to provide a residual limb (amputated limb) that is easier to fit with a prosthesis. In some cases congenital limbs do not require surgical revision and are fitted with nonstandard prostheses instead. Children with congenital limb deficiencies usually adapt and function well with a prosthesis. They often need regular visits to the prosthetist to alter the size and length of the prosthesis as growth occurs. In general, they also benefit from “high-tech” prostheses designed to meet the demands of an active, energetic child.

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