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Surgical techniques for upper limb amputation

On Behalf of | Aug 4, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents, Truck Accidents |

A collision with a large truck can subject you to extreme trauma because of the enormous weight of the vehicle that strikes you. According to StatPearls, 80% of all upper extremity amputations result from trauma, making it a leading cause.

When you have to have a portion of a limb amputated, doctors want you to retain as much function as possible. Therefore, they will only take as much of the limb as needed to resolve the damage done in the accident. Depending on the extent of your injury, here are some of the surgical techniques your doctor may use for your upper extremity amputation.

Shoulder disarticulation

Doctors only use this technique when there is no hope of saving the limb or restoring any of its function. It involves removing your entire arm at the shoulder joint. A transhumeral amputation is an alternative to shoulder disarticulation. It does not retain any of the limb’s functions, but it does preserve the contour of your shoulder.

Transradial amputation

A transradial amputation extends no further than your forearm. This type of amputation allows you to keep a greater degree of your function because you can still use and bend your elbow. You may also retain the ability to rotate your remaining forearm outward and inward in a pattern called pronation and supination.

Transcarpal amputation

A transcarpal amputation removes the fingers and part of the hand. However, you still have the ability to move your wrist.

The more function you can retain after an upper extremity amputation, the better outcome you may have with prosthetics. However, no matter the level of your amputation and the function you retain, this is a procedure that permanently changes your life.