URL of this page: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/limbloss.html

Limb Loss

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People can lose all or part of an arm or leg for a number of reasons. Common ones include

  • Problems with blood circulation. These may be the result of atherosclerosis or diabetes. Severe cases may result in amputation.
  • Injuries, including from traffic accidents and military combat
  • Cancer
  • Birth defects

Some amputees have phantom pain, which is the feeling of pain in the missing limb. Other physical problems include surgical complications and skin problems, if you wear an artificial limb. Many amputees use an artificial limb. Learning how to use it takes time. Physical therapy can help you adapt.

Recovery from the loss of a limb can be hard. Sadness, anger, and frustration are common. If you are having a tough time, talk to your doctor. Treatment with medicine or counseling can help.

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