Nearly 1.7 million individuals in the country have an amputated limb and, every year, another 156,000 more experience an amputation. While some are caused by vascular disease, diabetes, and cancer, nearly a fourth of these amputations are caused by some form of trauma. While the incident that caused the injury is painful and traumatic in itself, the pain does not end there. Those living with an amputated limb must learn to adjust with this major change and learn to overcome the challenges it presents.
Physically Adjusting to an Amputation Injury
One of the biggest adjustments those with an amputated limb must face involves the physical aspect of this injury. Fortunately, different types of prosthetics are available to make this adjustment easier. Those who immediately begin to start using a prosthesis are able to recover more quickly for their amputation injury compared to those who begin using one later on.
Emotionally Adjusting to an Amputation Injury
Of course, amputation injuries are not just physically taxing on a person. These injuries also require an emotional adjustment, especially depending on the type of trauma experienced. Oftentimes, one might feel as though they have no control and that they are much too dependent on others. To cope with some of the emotions that are associated with this injury, here is a list of some helpful coping tools:
- Join a support group
- Keep in mind that it gets better with time
- Try not to think of the ways in which the injury could have been avoided
- Find a counselor to talk to or discuss feelings with friends
- Resume decision-making as a way to take back control of life
Daily Living Aids
Adjusting to this major change means relearning a lot of routine day-to-day activities, such as getting dressed or even eating. Occupational and physical therapists will be able to assist in this process. In addition to a prosthesis, there are other living aids that can help make living with an amputated limb much easier. It will simply take time, education, and practice.
It is not uncommon for those with amputation injuries to continue to experience phantom pain. This is essentially the feeling of pain or itching in the missing limb and, despite the limb’s absence, it can feel incredibly real. It is still unclear as to why this happens, but some research suggests that phantom pain is caused by the rewiring of nerves in one’s spinal column and brain and, when part of the body is stimulated, it gets transposed and pain is felt in a limb that is no longer part of the body.
It is possible for the pain and irritation to go away, but for others, the pain can become long-lasting and unbearable. Some treatments that have been used to treat phantom pain include:
- Medications to relieve nerve pain
- Mirror box therapy, which is used to trick the brain into thinking both limbs are intact
- Activities that distract the mind
Amputation Injury Attorneys in Atlanta
At Pratt Clay, LLC in Atlanta, our team of catastrophic injury attorneys has several decades of collective legal experience and a proven track record of success, including more than $80 million in verdicts and settlements. If you suffered an amputation injury that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you have a right to pursue fair and just compensation. Reach out to our law firm today for the exceptional legal representation you need during this difficult time.