Around the world, it’s an unfortunate fact that someone has a limb amputated every 30 seconds. This amounts to over one million limb amputations every year. In the United States, there are approximately 1.9 million people that have experienced the loss of a limb and are currently living with this situation.
On an annual basis, 185,000 people in the United States need to have a limb amputated. The most common reasons to have this procedure performed are due to vascular disease and trauma. The former is the case with 54% of these amputations, and the latter is the case with 45%. The Center for Orthotic and Prosthetic Care reported that while 86% of the amputations performed were for a lower limb, the remaining 14% were for an upper limb.
While it is considered to be the least common, congenital amputation also occurs. Approximately one out of every two-thousand babies is born with part or all of a limb missing.
By 2050, it has been estimated that there will be 3.6 million Americans living with the loss of a limb. In order to assist the individuals that are currently living with limb loss as well as those that will undergo this procedure in the future, there are four main types of artificial limbs or prosthesis:
It’s important to note that custom prosthetics are available for limb loss. In addition to having custom prosthetics made for aesthetic reasons, prosthetic limbs are also able to enhance mobility and have the capacity to assist people with performing a variety of tasks.
Advancements continue to be made within this area, and orthotic services currently provide assistance to individuals that are missing a limb or have other issues that require custom prosthetics. This includes back braces, or spinal orthoses, for individuals that have a curvature of the spine. These devices are intended to prevent the curve from becoming worse. In some cases, however, the curves may decrease in size.
Currently there are over 3,000 facilities within the United States that are able to provide prosthetic and orthotic services. Whether you or someone in you love is in need of these services, it’s likely that these is a patient care facility within your area where you can obtain an initial consultation to learn about your options.