Immediate amputation is the removal of a limb of a patient within twelve hours post-injury as necessitated by an irreparable injury to the limb. The limb is removed surgically so as to control pain or the progression of a disease affecting the limb. Thus, medical conditions that lead to immediate amputation include malignancies and gangrene. The orthopaedic surgeon (amputator) may recommend amputation of a limb when there is: (1) a high-grade open fracture, (2) severe injury in the blood vessels that leads to ischemia and necrosis, or (3) a significant damage to the nerve (e.g. posterior tibial nerve damage).1 When the limb can no longer be salvaged, and at the same time, life-threatening, immediate amputation may need to be executed. The person that underwent amputation is referred to as an amputee.
- The Decision to Salvage or Amputate. (2000, March). Retrieved from Medscape website: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/410430_3
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