The partial or complete surgical removal of one of the limbs is a procedure that will ultimately have a great impact on a person’s day-to-day existence and activities.
Even though all amputation processes possess similar patterns, one case of amputation might be completely different from the other because of a number of characteristics. The stage of life in which people encounter themselves in and their overall health status influence to what extent this procedure will have an effect on them. Also other characteristics which will affect how an individual reacts to the amputation include: his/her home environment, the length of the amputation performed on the limb, the health status of what is left of the extremity, the physical assistance the he/she will have, and the mental state the person experiences.
How amputation can affect someone’s daily life?
This procedure can leave people with two types of sensations on the limb in which the surgery was performed:
- It can leave them with a painful feeling arising from the missing extremity due to nerves that were harmed during the procedure
- It can leave them with the sensation that the amputated limb is still attached to their body
The second condition is not uncommon, especially in females and people who have had one of their upper-extremities amputated. Whichever group is more likely to suffer from this, the fact is that more than half of the patient’s experience it. The pain can vary according to each individual, however it can range from merely a sensation to an intensely painful feeling.
Several routine and personal activities might not be as easy to fulfill after an amputation is done. It is not a shocker that these procedures have a great impact on a person’s autonomy when engaging in any sort of movement. However, under most circumstances, a patient can use an artificial limb after participating in enough therapy sessions. Certainly having one or both legs amputated is an experience that will alter an individual’s life, but also having an arm amputated can have a negative impact on one’s balance and sense of control. Another difficulty arm amputees might have to come to face with is the employment of the left hand (if they were previously right-handed) for accomplishing activities which require the use of the arms.
Tightening of the muscles is not uncommon in individuals who have had their lower-extremities removed, this might arise as a result of the trauma of the procedure and the movement the amputated leg tends to lack. It is important to make sure that the amputee moves his/her affected leg enough to prevent this condition from developing, if not, it might affect the gait on artificial limbs.
Another issue affecting amputees is the risk of infections, if a pressure sore is developed on the area in which the procedure was performed an infection is not unlikely to occur. The movement of blood through the vessels as well as the actual volume of blood can result in coagulation, which might play a role on infecting the area even further. Infections are risky since the may also impact on a person’s ability to use an artificial limb.
A person can also undergo an extreme sense of exhaustion and may be incapable of performing his/her everyday activities due to it. In addition, some of the medicines assigned to overcome the condition might have exhaustion as one of its consequences.
This procedure can also have an impact emotionally on the amputees and the people surrounding them. Post-amputation, a person is likely to develop psychological conditions. Also this intervention will probably change the way people behave socially and the way they perceive themselves.
Psychological conditions that might develop after an amputation are numerous, a person may go through depressive disorder and PTSD. Modifying their lives to fit new needs and capabilities is no easy task, since it is not a loss quick to settle. It is even harder when the amputation was a sudden result to a harsh accident since the individual might constantly take himself/herself back to that incident.
After this procedure, a person is less likely to be outdoors and attend to social events. As result they might stop visiting their loved ones, and those who try to help or be at their side might be shut out by them. This might bring about a feeling of loneliness. Also, personal pleasures than the amputee previously enjoyed might be impossible or difficult to engage on. If a caregiver feels like the person has been completely immersed in negative states of mind, then he/she should consult with someone experienced in the psychological field to help the patient overcome these feelings.
Lastly but certainly not least, an amputee might experience issues with the way they perceive themselves. It might be hard to accept their new body and the way they look now.