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There are many reasons why someone might undergo the amputation of a limb. Cancer, diabetes or tragic events like an auto accident all top the list. Needless to say, in my capacity as a personal injury attorney with a special focus on motorcycle accidents, it is the latter that I have had the most exposure to.

While having a limb amputated is an extremely personal event that everyone must deal with in their own way depending on their personal makeup (attitude, personality, values), there are some generally held truths that knowing may help you avoid the worst of the emotional turmoil that often accompanies the loss of a limb.


Grieving is an emotion that is more associated with death but in truth, you can grieve for any loss and considering you can grieve the loss of someone in your life it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you will more than likely go through the same stages of grief, when you literally lose a part of yourself. Losing a limb is one of the invasive things that can happen to YOU. It will affect every facet of your life for as long as you live.

Give yourself permission to grieve your loss and don’t doubt for a second it is a natural part of the healing process.

Be Realistic but Positive

Modern technology is a wonderful thing and the prosthetics that are available today are simply amazing in what they are capable of, but none of them are going to take you back to where you once were.

This doesn’t mean you can’t still live a full rewarding life. It just means there are going to be some adjustments that you will need to make and you will have to learn new ways to accomplish the same goals. It will take work but you can do it. Over 2,000,000 amputees’ in the United States prove it every day.

Stay Fit

There are several reasons why you should stay fit both physically and emotionally after an amputation. Physically you have to remember that your remaining limbs are going to need to carry the extra load that your missing limb used to help with. Also, your conditioning has a great effect on how quickly your body heals and adapts to your new circumstances. Physical activity will also help relieve the emotional and mental stress that you will undoubtedly experience.

Most amputees describe their adjustment period as a roller coaster ride. Many experience anger, depression, self-loathing and even fear. Just as with grieving for your lost limb, this is not unusual and despite how you may feel at the time you are not losing your mind. However, it is just as important to take care of your mental and emotional health as it is to take care of your body.

Meditation, exercise, reading and just about any activity that will help you lower your stress level and keep your mind occupied will be of benefit to your recovery.

Get Support

This may be the most important bit of advice here. If you are lucky you will have a good support system made up of friends and family but unless they are also amputees, they cannot truly understand what you are going through.

The Amputee Coalition of America estimates that there are 185,000 new lower extremity amputations in America each year and about half that number of upper limb losses. This tells you that you are not alone.

There are a number of great organizations that will be there for you and also allow you to help others in similar situations. Here are just a few resources that I have personal knowledge of but a quick Google search will help you find many more.

As a personal injury attorney, I can help you recover monetary damages if you are injured in an accident and while that may help ease the stress that you will undoubtedly go through, there is little I can do to help ease your pain. I do hope though that you will seek the help you need and find your path back to a full and fulfilling life.