A diagram showing an above the knee amputation
Lower limb, or leg, amputations can be divided into two broad categories – minor amputations and major amputations, Minor amputations generally refers to the amputation of digits. Major amputations are commonly referred to as below-knee amputation, above-knee amputation and so forth. Types of amputations include:
- partial foot amputation – amputation of the lower limb distal to the ankle joint.
- ankle disarticulation – amputation of the lower limb at the ankle joint.
- trans-tibial amputation – amputation of the lower limb between the knee joint and the ankle joint, commonly referred to as a below-knee amputation.
- knee disarticulation – amputation of the lower limb at the knee joint.
- trans-femoral amputation – amputation of the lower limb between the hip joint and the knee joint, commonly referred to an above-knee amputation.
- hip disarticulation – amputation of the lower limb at the hip joint.
- trans-pelvic disarticulation – amputation of the whole lower limb together with all or part of the pelvis. This is also known as a hemipelvectomy or hindquarter amputation.
Common partial foot amputations include Chopart, Lisfranc and ray amputations, Common forms of ankle disarticulations include Syme, Pyrogoff and Boyd. A less commonly occurring major amputation is the Van Ness rotation/rotationplasty (foot being turned around and reattached to allow the ankle joint to be used as a knee).
The 18th century guide to amputations
Types of upper extremity amputations include:
- partial hand amputation
- wrist disarticulation
- trans-radial amputation, commonly referred to as below-elbow or forearm amputation
- elbow disarticulation
- trans-humeral amputation, commonly referred to as above-elbow amputation
- shoulder disarticulation
- forequarter amputation
A variant of the trans-radial amputation is the Krukenberg procedure in which the radius and ulna are used to create a stump capable of a pincer action.
- Facial amputations include but are not limited to:
Hemicorporectomy, or amputation at the waist, and decapitation, or amputation at the neck, are the most radical amputations.
Genital modification and mutilation may involve amputating tissue, although not necessarily as a result of injury or disease.
In some rare cases when a person has become trapped in a deserted place, with no means of communication or hope of rescue, the victim has amputated his or her own limb. The most notable case of this is Aron Ralston, a hiker who amputated his own right forearm after it was pinned by a boulder in a hiking accident and he was unable to free himself for over five days.
Body integrity identity disorder is a psychological condition in which an individual feels compelled to remove one or more of their body parts, usually a limb. In some cases, that individual may take drastic measures to remove the offending appendages, either by causing irreparable damage to the limb so that medical intervention cannot save the limb, or by causing the limb to be severed.