What are some complications of amputation?

Although there are many potential complications from an amputation operation that may result in significant costs and damages, the most common include wound infection, phantom limb pain, stump pain, wound dehiscence, and stump osteomyelitis.

If you’ve been injured and experienced complications from an amputation operation, you could be entitled to compensation for the associated costs and damages. Chicago catastrophic injury lawyers at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates are available to review your case. Continue reading to learn more about common amputation-related complications and what to do if you experienced one.

complications of amputation

Most common postoperative amputation complications

Amputations are immensely complex operations, therefore, potential for complications depend on the type of amputation. For example, when looking at leg amputations, there are substantial differences between above- or below-the-knee surgeries, both concerning the complexity of the operation and the degree of disability that follows.

Although the list of potential complications is nearly endless, below are 5 of the most common postoperative complications.

Wound Infection

The most common complication that results from amputation operations is wound infection. Given the scope of the surgery and size of the operating site, a sterile operating environment and clean practices during recovery are essential. When appropriate standards of care, cleanliness, and treatment aren’t followed during surgery and recovery, you may have a medical malpractice claim to recover the additional costs and damages associated with the complication.

Phantom Limb Pain

Phantom limb pain is when an amputee experiences the perception of pain or discomfort in the place where their amputated limb once was. Some of the different types of pain and discomfort have been explained as pressure, itching, vibrating, burning, cramping, tingling, and “pins and needles”.

The underlying causes of phantom limb pain are largely unknown, but the phenomenon has been a recognized condition for quite some time, once referred to as “stump pain”. Currently phantom limb pain is referred to as PLP, or residual limb pain or RLP. The associated pain and suffering can be a part of the damages that you are entitled to.

Stump Pain

The term “stump pain” was formerly applied to phantom limb pain, but is now uniquely applied to the actual pain that is at the site of the amputation. Stump pain is physiological pain that generally resolves as the wound heals. In spite of this, phantom limb pain may persist.

Wound Dehiscence

According to the National Library of Medicine, wound dehiscence is a partial or complete separation of previously approximated wound edges due a failure of proper healing. This complication generally develops 5 to 8 days after surgery in the earlier stages of the healing process.

The complication can lead to increased bleeding and drainage at the wound site, pain, and an increased risk of infection or necrosis. To prevent the worst effects of this condition, it’s essential that it be identified and treated as early as possible.

Stump Osteomyelitis

Osteomyelitis is a serious infection in the bone, and it can be either acute (new) or chronic (progressive). When an amputation procedure wounds does not heal correctly, it can lead to a serious infection in the remaining bone of the limb, which can lead to more significant damage and the necessity of additional procedures, surgeries, rehabilitation, medications, and treatments.

Did someone else cause the accident that resulted in your amputation? Did you suffer from complications caused by your doctor? You may be eligible for compensation.

When someone or something else caused the accident that led to your amputation, an attorney will help prove that the other party is at least partly liable, so it’s imperative that you contact a Chicago catastrophic injury lawyer from Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates so they can begin collecting evidence to construct the best case on your behalf so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.

Call us at (800) 985-1819 or contact us through our website to schedule your free consultation. Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates’ experienced personal injury attorneys are standing by to learn how we can help you.