An amputation is a serious surgery that comes with many risks. Doctors and surgeons will do their best to ensure that your amputation surgery and recovery goes as smoothly and stress-free as possible. However, sometimes, complications can arise, sending your life upside down and causing you to suffer further.
What is an amputation?
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, an amputation is defined as “the loss or removal of a body part such as a finger, toe, hand, foot, arm, or leg.” Individuals who undergo amputation surgery may not be able to function, move, or get around like they once did. This can affect their daily life, such as their ability to work, perform activities, communicate, build relationships, accomplish tasks and duties, and more.
Why would someone need an amputation?
A person may need an amputation if one of the following occurs:
- One of their limbs is severely cut or sliced.
- They have developed a serious infection within their limb.
- Their bones have become severely crushed.
- They can no longer use or move their limb.
- They develop frostbite, cancer, or diabetes.
Many times, amputations occur due to traumatic and devastating accidents, such as motorcycle accidents, car accidents, truck accidents, bus accidents, train accidents, bicycle accidents, dog bites, pedestrian accidents, and more. Certain defective products have also been known to traumatically amputate body parts.
Heavy machinery, power tools, falling objects, and falls from heights can also cause traumatic amputations. Workers in industries like construction and manufacturing face significant risk of suffering these types of injuries.
Medical complications associated with amputation
There are various complications that can arise from amputations. A few of the most common complications include:
- Pain: Pain at the amputation point is common and can be exacerbated by prolonged use of a prosthetic. Nerve endings can also be affected, which means some people may experience radiating pain. Many people who have amputation surgery end up experiencing phantom limb pain, which is the term used to describe pain that is in the limb that was removed. It is described as tingling, burning, cramping, and crushing pain.
- Oedema: Oedema occurs when fluid begins to form around an individual’s stump. As a result, there may be pain, swelling, issues with moving, and trouble fitting a prosthetic. This commonly happens when surgeons do not properly handle the tissues when removing the limb.
- Infections: Infections are very common after amputation surgeries, which is why doctors require patients to remain in the hospital for a few weeks afterwards. However, even after being released from the hospital, infections remain a major risk post-op, which often leads to other severe complications, as well as death.
- Tissue necrosis: When tissue in your body dies, this is referred to as tissue necrosis. This happens when the stump does not get enough blood supply. Unfortunately, if an individual suffers from tissue necrosis, their tissues cannot be revived or restored again.
- Weakening and stiffness in the muscles: After an amputation, the individual must continue using their muscles and moving around. If not, they will develop weak or stiff muscles, which can be painful and cause mobility issues. While it is important to rest and heal, you also must remember that you should keep using your muscles and work to rebuild your strength.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder: Amputation injuries are physical, but they can also affect your mental health. People who have lost limbs may grapple with this loss and how it affects their identity. Many amputees struggle with anxiety and depression for years.
Seeking compensation for an amputation injury in Maryland
If you or a loved one needed an amputation due to another person’s negligence, such as in a car accident, or from an accident that occurred at work, you have legal options. Employees covered by Maryland’s workers’ compensation program are entitled to wage loss benefits and medical benefits. The program also provides additional compensation for the loss of body parts (permanent partial or total disability benefits). Workers can also seek benefits for vocational retraining. Workers may also have a third-party claim if the accident was caused by another entity’s negligence. In some instances, you can have both a workers’ compensation claim and a third-party claim arising from the same incident.
Non-employees and victims of negligence can seek compensation through a personal injury claim or lawsuit. You could be entitled to damages for your current and future medical bills, your lost wages and loss of earning potential, and your physical and mental pain and suffering, as well as other applicable losses.
If you lost a limb or body part because of someone’s negligence, you need an experienced and skilled Maryland personal injury lawyer from Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. by your side. Our team will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the justice and compensation that you deserve, and we will never back down without a fight. Call our office or complete our contact form to discuss with our attorneys today. We have several different offices around Maryland for your convenience.
Joshua Plaxen graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2008 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business, and graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 2012 magna cum laude. He was also inducted into the Heuisler Honor Society for finishing in the top ten percent of his class. During law school, Joshua served on the Executive Board of the University of Baltimore Law Review.