People can lose all or part of an arm or leg for a number of reasons. Common ones include
- Circulation problems from atherosclerosis or diabetes. They may cause you to need an amputation.
- Traumatic injuries, including from traffic accidents and military combat
- Birth defects
If you are missing an arm or leg, an artificial limb can sometimes replace it. The device, which is called a prosthesis, can help you to perform daily activities such as walking, eating, or dressing. Some artificial limbs let you function nearly as well as before.
- Limb Prosthetics (Merck & Co., Inc.)
- Prosthetic Frequently Asked Questions for the New Amputee (Amputee Coalition of America)
- Cosmesis: The Art of Making Artificial Limbs Look Lifelike (Amputee Coalition of America)
- Prosthetic Care FAQs (American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics)
- Rehabilitation Engineering: What is Rehabilitation Engineering? (National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering)
- When to Replace a Prosthesis (Amputee Coalition of America)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
Find an Expert
- Limb Loss in Children: Prosthetic Issues (Amputee Coalition of America)
- Senior Health: Older Adults and Newer Technology (Amputee Coalition of America)
- When Are Prostheses the Right Choice for Older Amputees? (Amputee Coalition of America) Available in Spanish