Lower Limb Amputations

Lower limb amputations occur for many reasons.

  • Trauma: for example, motor vehicle accidents, work related injuries
  • Diseases: poor circulation, diabetes, cancer
  • Conditions Present at Birth

If you have lost your limb because of poor circulation, diabetes or other medical conditions, it is important to learn as much as possible about these conditions to help prevent further complications.

Will I be able to walk again?

Walking may not always be possible for someone who has lost a leg. Some people will be able to use a prosthesis (artificial limb) to walk, others may use a wheelchair, crutches or a walker for their mobility.

Learning to walk with a prosthesis takes time and effort. Some people who receive a prosthesis use it for most activities, others may only wear it for short periods during the day.

A prosthesis may be made for you if it is felt that it will help you become more independent.

Before you can be fit with a prosthesis you will need to learn how to walk without a prosthesis using a walker or crutches. The healthcare team will help you learn how to do this. We do this because it will:

  • Be good exercise
  • Keep your remaining leg in good shape
  • Help you decide if you want a prosthesis
  • Help the healthcare team decide if you have the strength and balance to walk with a prosthesis
  • Give you a way of walking if your prosthesis needs to be repaired or you have a painful leg

 If you are fitted with a prosthesis it is important to continue exercising without the prosthesis!

There are many factors that determine how much of the limb is amputated. Generally, the longer the remaining limb and the more joints that are kept intact, the easier it is to fit and use a prosthesis.

The major categories of lower limb amputations are:

  • Foot Amputations - Amputation of any part of the foot. This includes mid tarsal amputations, Lisfranc amputation, Boyds amputation & Symes amputation
  • Transtibial Amputations (below the knee) - Amputation occurs at any level from the knee to the ankle
  • Knee Disarticulation - Amputation occurs at the level of the knee joint
  • Transfemoral Amputations (above knee ) - Amputation occurs at any level from the hip to knee joint
  • Hip Disarticulation - Amputation is at the hip joint with the entire thigh and lower portion of the leg being removed