In medicine, an amputation describes the complete removal of a body part. It is irrelevant whether this is the result of an accident or a medically necessary operation. The severed body part is called an amputate. If the amputate is still connected to the body by tissue or muscles, it is called a subtotal amputation.
If tissue is damaged to such an extent that it is irreparable or has already died, surgical amputation is initiated. Otherwise, the risk of severe infections in the body would be too high and could lead to life-threatening situations. Amputations are also often unavoidable as a result of cancer, diabetes and accidents.
Of course, amputations also carry risks. For example, as with any operation, wound infections or healing problems can occur, as well as secondary bleeding in the area of the remaining stump. Those affected also frequently report phantom pain and pressure sores resulting from incorrectly fitted prostheses. Postural deformities are also typical, since the stance and gait pattern changes enormously, especially with foot or leg amputations.