Common Causes of Amputations

Many cases of limb loss are caused by infections, trauma, poor blood flow and cancer.

There are a lot of different kinds of amputations a person in New York may have. Most commonly, entire portions of a limb will be removed. For example, an above-the-knee amputation removes a person’s leg someplace above his or her knee. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are about 1.9 million people in the United States living with some level of limb loss, whether they had a below-the-knee or an above-the-elbow amputation. The reason for an amputation can be as varied as the type.


Most infections are cleared up through the administration of antibiotics and proper wound-cleaning procedure. However, some wounds become infected and are ignored. This can happen to a person who has neuropathy caused by diabetes. If an infection cannot be controlled, doctors may need to amputate all or part of a limb to stop the spread of the dead tissue caused by infection.


Trauma to an arm or leg may result in the need for an amputation. This usually happens when the limb has been severely damaged and the body will not be able to heal properly. The following traumatic incidents could lead to the need for an amputation:

  • Having a limb pinned in a car after a crash.
  • Getting a limb caught in a garbage compact at work.
  • Suffering severe burns after being trapped in a burning building.
  • Falling from a great enough height that the bones in the arm or leg are pulverized.

When an injury reduces a person’s ability to use the arm or leg, doctors may suggest getting an amputation done to help increase mobility after the accident.

Bad circulation

Peripheral arterial disease causes the arteries to narrow, which can limit the blood flow to a person’s arms or legs. This damage to the arteries can stem from atherosclerosis, a hardening and narrowing of arteries, or diabetes. Tissue dies when it does not get enough blood flow, which is why amputation may be the answer. In some cases, bad circulation can lead to an amputation of a finger or toe rather than an entire hand or foot.


When a person has a tumor in his or her arm or leg, having that part of the limb cut off can help stop the spread of the disease. This drastic action may be required if a patient is not diagnosed with cancer soon enough. In other cases, amputation is turned to after chemotherapy has failed to impact the cancer.

Amputations for New York residents may be necessary for a variety of reasons. When an amputation takes place because of a car crash or workplace accident, it may be beneficial to work with an attorney who is familiar with this type of personal injury case.