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Lower Extremity Amputation Types & Levels

Lower Extremity Amputation Types & Levels

Comprehensive care at the only rehabilitation hospital in the region consistently ranked among the best in the nation, and the top-ranked facility in Pennsylvania.

What you need to know about Lower Limb Amputation:

A variety of factors determine which part of a lower limb or extremity is amputated.

If trauma is the cause, the level or type of amputation is usually determined by which parts of the body were injured. For people whose amputation is caused by disease, the determination is based on the person's circulation and what the surgeon thinks will heal.

In general, the longer the remaining lower limb and the more joints that are preserved, the easier it is to fit and use a prosthesis. Also, the energy needed to walk increases as the limb becomes shorter.

The major types of lower-limb amputation include:

  • Foot Amputations: This is a catchall category that includes any part of the foot. It may be toes or a portion of the foot. The types of toe amputations include mid-tarsal amputations, Lisfranc amputation, Boyds amputation and Symes amputation. During rehab from any foot amputation type, our physicians and therapists will help with wound healing, building your strength back, preparing your leg for a prosthetic, helping you get around with or without the prosthetic and learning to care for your foot and prosthetic.
  • Below the Knee Amputations  (Transtibial Amputations): These include all of the levels from the knee to the ankle.What is a below the knee amputation? It includes all of the levels from the knee to the ankle. Reasons for this level of amputation range from foot ulcers due to diabetes to reduced blood flow caused by peripheral vascular disease, tumors due to cancer, severe infection resulting from wounds and severe trauma.
  • Knee Disarticulation Amputations: This amputation occurs at the level of the knee joint. If a surgeon can’t perform the amputation below the knee, he or she will consider knee disarticulation, an amputation of the knee joint that leaves the femur and patella untouched and does not cut through bone or muscle.
  • Transfemoral Amputations (above knee amputations): This amputation includes all levels of thigh amputations from the hip to the knee joint. Above-knee amputation, also known as transfemoral amputation, removes the leg above the knee joint when that limb has been severely damaged or diseased. This mid-thigh amputation is chosen when the lower leg and knee cannot be saved. Common reasons for this procedure include peripheral vascular disease, diabetes, infection/gangrene, trauma and tumor/cancer.
  • Hip Disarticulation Amputations: This level of amputation is at the hip joint with the entire thigh portion being removed. Rarer than amputations lower in the limb, hip disarticulation is a surgical procedure in which the lower limb is removed through the hip joint itself.

Lower Extremity Amputation Program

MossRehab’s lower extremity amputation program is offered through eight amputee clinics located throughout the region, covering care from immediately after surgery through fitting of prosthetics and re-entry into the community. Our therapists and physicians are highly knowledgeable about all types of lower extremity amputations. Our specialized services, including the Sheer Gait and Motion Analysis Laboratory, the MossRehab Driving Program, and our extensive collection of robotics, provide an extra level of care and analysis for all levels of lower limb amputation.

Ready to begin the conversation about finding the right lower limb amputation rehabilitation program? Schedule a consultation with one of our specialists:

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Consistently ranked among the best in the U.S. and top-ranked in Pennsylvania.

MossRehab (main hospital)

60 Township Line Road, Elkins Park, PA 19027
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