Amputation Injury Long-Term Effects

Complications and Effects of Amputation Injuries

The type of amputation, the victim’s health, and the victim’s age are all factors that could increase the chance for complications as result of an amputation.

Though it seems odd, the risk for serious complications after an amputation is higher for planned amputations than it is for emergency amputations.

This is due to the fact that most planned amputations occur in older victims with restricted blood supply and a history of poor health and/chronic health conditions like diabetes. Planned amputations are usually a “last resort” treatment option due to the high risk of complications. Planned amputations are only done if there is no other way to prevent serious life-threatening symptoms like gangrene from developing.

Common complications from amputations are:

  • Heart complications (heart attacks, heart failure)
  • Blood clots
  • Surgical site infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Additional surgical procedures needed


Aside from suffering complications as result of the actual limb removal, victims also face a number of long-term effects after the amputation.


Phantom limb pain is when an amputee experiences pain, burning, or itching sensations that seem to be coming from the limb that has been amputated.


50-80% of amputation victims suffer phantom pain after the loss of a limb, though women more commonly suffer phantom limb pain than men. It has also been found that upper limb loss victims suffer phantom limb pain more than lower limb loss victims.


Phantom limb pain symptoms can be severe. Some victims experience brief flashes of pain while others complain of constant, numbing pain.

Other physical long term effects of amputations include:


  • Contractures– a shortening of the muscles. This generally happens after prolonged bed rest or prolonged sitting.
  • Death of Skin Flaps– If circulation is inadequate death of the tissue that make up skin flaps is possible. This sometimes results in follow up surgeries to the affected limb.
  • Wound Opening– infection, excess swelling in the stump, and too much tension in the sutures can cause the wound to open which will prolong recovery.
  • Prosthetic Complications– redness, skin breakdown, bruising, or blister formation in the stump are all possible side effects of prosthetic complications.


Amputation victims suffer psychological effects as well. Loss of limb victims report feelings of loss similar to experiencing the death of a loved one. Psychological treatment is necessary for amputation victims. After an amputation victim’s face the challenge of coping with:


  • the loss of sensation from the amputated limb
  • the loss of function from the amputation limb
  • the change in the victim’s sense of body image and how they view themselves as well as how others now view them


These psychological issues often cause negative thoughts and emotions. This is especially true in people who had an emergency amputation, as they did not have time to mentally prepare themselves for the effects of surgery.

Depression, anxiety, denial, grief, the possibility of suffering post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and even suicidal thoughts are all common psychological effects after an amputation.


If you or a loved one is suffering with the long term effects or complications of an amputation, please, contact our Pennsylvania amputation lawyers by calling 1-800-444-5309 now for a free consultation. The attorneys at The Pisanchyn Law Firm want to help you and your loved ones after the tragedy you have experienced. We, along with our team of medical and legal experts, will fight to get you the compensation and justice you deserve.

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