People can lose all or part of an arm or leg for a number of reasons. Common ones include
- Circulation problems from atherosclerosis or diabetes. They may cause you to need an amputation.
- Traumatic injuries, including from traffic accidents and military combat
- Birth defects
If you are missing an arm or leg, an artificial limb can sometimes replace it. The device, which is called a prosthesis, can help you to perform daily activities such as walking, eating, or dressing. Some artificial limbs let you function nearly as well as before.
- Limb Prosthetics (Merck & Co., Inc.) Also in Spanish
- Prosthetic Frequently Asked Questions for the New Amputee (Amputee Coalition of America)
- Rehabilitation Engineering: What is Rehabilitation Engineering? (National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering) Also in Spanish
- The Wonderful World of Cosmesis (Amputee Coalition of America)
- When to Replace a Prosthesis (Amputee Coalition of America)
- Amputation: Prosthetic Hand and Fingers (American Society for Surgery of the Hand)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
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- Older Adults Can Thrive as Prosthesis Users (Amputee Coalition of America)