April is Limb Loss Awareness Month. We observe this day by raising awareness for the Limb Loss community. If you can believe it, more than 500 people lose one of their limbs every day.
What is Limb Loss and How Many People Are Affected?
Limb loss is defined by the partial or total loss of a limb due to illness, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, infection, or because of a trauma.
It is estimated that there are somewhere in the ballpark of 2 million people in the United States who have lost a limb. Limb loss can cause excruciating pain even years after amputation. Some people experience something called “phantom limb pain.” This is the sensation of ongoing pain in an area of the limb that has been removed. Phantom limb pain can be hard for people to grasp, because it is hard to imagine how something that no longer exists on the body could cause pain. But the pain experienced by phantom limb pain is very real. The root of the pain is in the spinal cord or brain, not the amputated limb. It is not in any way a psychological issue.
The Toll Limb Loss Takes – Physically and Emotionally
While limb loss and amputation can be extremely physically traumatic, it can also take an emotional toll on the patient. Not only do they have to heal, they have to learn to adjust to life in an entirely different way. They need to learn to accept their new situation as their new normal. Understandably, this means many suffer from depression and anxiety as a result of their loss. Depression and anxiety are especially associated with a loss, perhaps temporary, of mobility and independence. It is crucial to treat the depression and anxiety as well as symptoms or side effects of limb loss or amputation.
Prosthetics are usually fitted after the patient has completely healed and has regained their strength and physical constitution. This usually occurs between two and six months after surgery. In some cases, a person may receive a temporary prosthetic within two to three weeks post surgery. Generally, though, it is important to wait for the wound to heal. And, for the inflammation to subside. It is also important to realize that not all limb loss or amputation patients will be good candidates for a prosthetic device.
Those With Limb Loss Will Heal
Most importantly, those who experience limb loss will continually improve over time! They will adapt, improve and lead full, normal lives because they are complete and whole and normal people.
Personalized Cause Supports Limb Loss Awareness Month
To order a https://personalize.wpengine.com/personalized-awareness-ribbons/silver-awareness-ribbon-pin-personalized?rq=limb%20loss“>limb loss awareness ribbon, which is a silver awareness ribbon. Visit us at Personalized Cause to learn more.
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