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The reasons for amputation

An amputation is a serious and irreversible medical procedure that involves the removal of an appendage or body part. Amputation procedures are performed for a variety of reasons, but in all cases, the same general theme applies: If the amputated body part were not removed, the patient could suffer serious and possibly fatal repercussions.

The most common cause of amputation relates to poor blood circulation as a result of narrowing or damaged arteries. Peripheral arterial disease is the usual culprit in these cases. If adequate blood flow is not provided to an appendage, for example, the cells of the body in that area will not get enough nutrients and they will start to die. This is when a fatal infection can develop and sometimes amputation is the only way to cure the problem.

Here are the most common reasons for amputation that Alabama personal injury lawyers might see in their docket of cases:

-- Severe injury: A car accident could result in burns or the crushing of a limb. If the appendage is damaged badly enough, blood flow will not be sufficient for it to heal and amputation may be required.

-- Cancer: A cancerous tumor -- for example, one in the muscle or bone of a limb -- may require amputation to resolve.

-- Serious infection: Sometimes antibiotics and other kinds of medical care are not sufficient to resolve a serious infection. If the infection persists, then amputation could be required.

-- Nerve tissue thickening: A neuroma, or thickening of the nerve tissue, is another common reason for amputation.

-- Frostbite: Frostbite can freeze the skin and tissues of an appendage to such a degree that it cannot heal and requires amputation in order to avoid the threat of a deadly infection.

Alabama residents who have had appendages amputated for any reason may want to consider why the amputation was necessary. Was the illness that led to the amputation the result of medical negligence or medical malpractice? Was it the result of an accident caused by another party's negligence? If a suspicion exists that another party was at fault for an amputation, then the person who suffered the amputation may want to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer to discuss his or her legal right to seek financial restitution in court.

Source: WebMD, "Amputation Overview," accessed Jan. 09, 2017

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