An amputation is the removal of an extremity or appendage from the body. Amputations in the upper extremity can occur as a result of trauma, or they can be performed in the treatment of congenital or acquired conditions. Although successful replantation represents a technical triumph to the surgeon, the patient's best interests should direct the treatment of amputations.
The goals involved in the treatment of amputations of the upper extremity include the following: (1) preservation of the functional length, (2) durable coverage, (3) preservation of useful sensibility, (4) prevention of symptomatic neuromas, (5) prevention of adjacent joint contractures, (6) early return to work, and (7) early prosthetic fitting.1, 2 These goals apply differently to different levels of amputation.
Synonyms and related keywords: finger amputations, upper-extremity amputations, arm amputations, ray amputations, finger replantation, thumb amputations, transcarpal amputation, wrist disarticulations, Krukenberg procedure, above-elbow amputation, below-elbow amputation, elbow disarticulations
Author: Bradon J Wilhelmi, MD 2008