Amputation can occur either as a result of serious trauma to a limb following a severe crash or caused by elective surgery following persistent pain following an accident.
Lower limb amputations remain the most common type of amputation, with upper limb amputations usually being caused as a direct result of trauma.
After amputation, it may be possible to fit a prosthetic limb. The world of prosthetics is becoming increasingly sophisticated with technology now providing for accurate reproduction of many functions of the hands or arms or legs.
It is certainly the case that below the knee amputees can recover reasonably well with the use of a prosthetic limb. However, physiotherapy and rehabilitation are essential parts of the recovery process and there are a number of factors which can affect recovery including the age of the amputee, underlying conditions including fitness, general well-being and so on.
The psychological impact of the loss of a limb whether through trauma or elective surgery remains hard to underestimate. Phantom pain is commonly reported and there are a number of underlying and intrusive problems that remain. Nevertheless, with good rehabilitation and care, a good quality of life can be expected.