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Acute Care Advisor 2017.1 Copyright © 2017 RelayHealth, a division of McKesson Technologies Inc. All rights reserved.

What is an amputation?

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Amputation is the loss of all or part of a limb. You may lose just a fingertip or an entire leg. Amputation may be used to treat a severe injury, an infection, a poor blood supply, a wound that is not healing, or a tumor.

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Complications related to diabetes are the most common reason people need amputation. Accidental amputation may happen as the result of an injury, such as car or motorcycle accidents, industrial accidents, and outdoor recreation accidents. If an amputated part is not too damaged and the injury is recent, sometimes it can be re-attached onto the body. This is called re-implantation.