VIDEO: Woman's leg amputated after Corvette crashes into Santa Ana apartment * 2023
VIDEO: Woman's leg amputated after Corvette crashes into Santa Ana apartment * 2023

Amputations from serious highway collisions

The loss of a limb (arm or leg) or a digit (finger or toe) in a car accident is known as an “amputation” or “traumatic amputation.” Amputation is less common than some car accident injuries, but when this disfiguring injury happens, it creates a lifelong disability for those who survive.

A traumatic amputation that occurs during a car accident can quickly and easily be complicated by profuse bleeding, which may lead to shock or infection, either of which is potentially life-threatening.

One of the most devastating and long-term injuries that a car accident victim can suffer is an amputation of a body part. It can impact many areas of a person’s life and may prevent him from working in his former profession.

Types of car accidents

There are two types of amputations caused in a car accident.

A traumatic amputation occurs when a body part, such as a leg, arm, toe, or finger, is severed from the body in the accident itself.

Another type of amputation is a surgical amputation, which occurs when a body part is so crushed and damaged in the wreck that it has to be surgically removed, sometimes to save the victim’s life.

While any type of car accident can lead to an amputation, they are more likely in these types of collisions:

  • Rollover car accidents
  • Head-on collisions
  • T-bone accidents

Recovery from an amputation

If you suffered an amputation, you could need expensive medical treatments throughout your life. An amputation is a surgical procedure and often includes a hospital stay where the initial wound healing can be monitored, and you are taught how to care for it once you return home.

Complications that can arise include:

  • Development of a haematoma, which is the pooling of blood under the skin.
  • Infection.
  • Wound opening.
  • Death of tissue.
  • Blood clots in the veins in the lungs or legs.
  • Phantom pain at the site of the amputated body part.

You will also need more long-term treatment to adjust to life without a limb. The wound itself can take up to eight weeks to heal. You may need physical therapy to help build muscle strength and to learn how to get in and out of a wheelchair if a leg was amputated. You may be fitted with a prosthesis that can enable you to compensate for your lost limb or other body part. However, these devices are expensive, and you may need to replace it more than once during your lifetime. In addition, you could need psychological treatment if you suffer with depression, anxiety, or grief over the loss of your limb.

Amputations from auto accidents can include:

  • Leg amputation.
  • Ankle disarticulation.
  • Partial foot amputation.
  • Knee disarticulation.
  • Above-the-knee amputation (transfemoral).
  • Below-the-knee amputation (transtibial).
  • Hip disarticulation.
  • Arm amputation.
  • Metacarpal amputation.
  • Wrist disarticulation.
  • Forearm amputation (transradial).
  • Elbow disarticulation.
  • Above-the-elbow amputation (transhumeral).
  • Shoulder disarticulation.
  • Finger or toe amputation.

Amputations due to violent accidents, such as during a car crash or motorcycle wreck, are usually very traumatic events that can reduce a victim’s quality of life in the blink of an eye. For those who have lost one or more limbs due to a tragic roadway collision, victims may suffer for quite some time from emotional discomfort and other psychological trauma. Because the remaining stump presents an area of reduced mechanical stability, the loss of a limb poses significant and even drastic practical limitations to many victims as they attempt to continue on with their lives following a serious automobile wreck.

Fortunately, thanks to technologic advances in the area of prosthetic design and development, many amputation victims can live relatively active lives with little restriction. However, for those individuals who can be fitted with a prosthesis, the costs of such devices can be quite expensive.

What to do in a road traffic collision

  • Stop at the scene – it is a legal requirement to stop as soon as it is safe to do so.
  • Switch off your engine.
  • Switch on your hazard lights.
  • Check for any injuries to yourself and any passengers.
  • Exchange details with anyone involved – name, address, car registration number.
  • Provide your insurance details if requested.
  • If you’re having trouble getting these details from someone involved, or they have left without giving details, call the police while you’re still at the scene of the collision.

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