Related topics: patients

A bionics competition for people with disabilities

Millions of people worldwide rely on orthotics, prosthetics, wheelchairs and other assistive devices to improve their quality of life. In the United States alone, there are more than 1.6 million people with limb amputations. ...

Wound healing: 'See-saw' switch sends cells on the march

Many genes are transcribed into messenger RNA (mRNA) molecules that provide instructions for protein synthesis. Other genes encode regulatory RNAs known as 'microRNAs', which can block protein translation by binding to specific ...

Research to link mobile phones and health

A Murdoch University PhD candidate envisions a future in which everyone wears a low-energy sensor to monitor their health – and he's doing the computing work to make it a reality.

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Amputation is the removal of a body extremity by trauma, prolonged constriction, or surgery. As a surgical measure, it is used to control pain or a disease process in the affected limb, such as malignancy or gangrene. In some cases, it is carried out on individuals as a preventative surgery for such problems. A special case is the congenital amputation, a congenital disorder, where fetal limbs have been cut off by constrictive bands. In some countries, amputation of the hands or feet is or was used as a form of punishment for people who committed crimes. Amputation has also been used as a tactic in war and acts of terrorism; it may also occur as a war injury. In some cultures and religions, minor amputations or mutilations are considered a ritual accomplishment. Unlike some non-mammalian animals (such as lizards that shed their tails, salamanders that can regrow many missing body parts, and hydras, flatworms, and starfish that can regrow entire bodies from small fragments), once removed, human extremities do not grow back, unlike portions of some organs, such as the liver. A transplant or a prosthesis are the only options for recovering the loss.

In the US, the majority of new amputations occur due to complications of the vascular system (of or pertaining to the blood vessels), especially from diabetes. Between 1988 and 1996, there was an average of 133,735 hospital discharges for amputation per year in the US. .

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