“Lower limb amputees” are individuals who have undergone the surgical removal or have congenital absence of one or more of their lower limbs, typically the legs and feet. Lower limb amputations can occur for various reasons, including trauma, vascular diseases (such as diabetes-related complications), congenital conditions, infections, or other medical issues.
The level of lower limb amputation can vary, and terminology is used to describe the specific location of the amputation:
- Transfemoral (Above-Knee Amputation): This type of amputation occurs above the knee joint, resulting in the loss of the entire lower leg and foot.
- Transtibial (Below-Knee Amputation): In a transtibial amputation, the amputation takes place below the knee joint, preserving the thigh but removing the lower leg and foot.
- Syme’s Amputation: Syme’s amputation involves the removal of the foot at the ankle joint while preserving the heel pad. This type of amputation is relatively rare but can offer certain advantages for prosthetic fitting.
- Partial Foot Amputation: Some individuals may experience partial foot amputations, where only a portion of the foot is removed.
Lower limb amputees often require prosthetic limbs or devices to regain mobility and functionality. Prosthetic solutions for lower limb amputees are designed to compensate for the lost limb and help individuals walk, stand, and engage in various activities. These prosthetic devices can range from basic prostheses for walking to more advanced, computer-assisted prosthetic limbs that enable a higher level of mobility and adaptability.
Rehabilitation and support from healthcare professionals, including prosthetists and physical therapists, are essential components of the recovery process for lower limb amputees. They work closely with patients to ensure proper prosthetic fitting, provide training on prosthetic use, and help individuals regain independence and improve their quality of life.