This is a very difficult and emotionally devastating decision to make. When one suffers an amputation, you literally lose a part of you, that is gone forever. No one wants to even consider the possibility of electing to undergo an amputation. For that reason, many people try everything possible to salvage a limb, and they probably should. However, there comes a point in time when the pain, the risk of further surgeries, and the limited functionality of the limb makes amputation a comparatively attractive option. Prosthetic technology has made amazing advances in recent years and we have recently seen the first amputee run in the Olympics (Oscar Pistorius).
If at all possible, you should attempt to salvage your knee, and get a “below-the-knee” (“BKA”) amputation, rather than an “above-the-knee” (“AKA”) amputation. BKA amputees have much greater functionality and can more easily walk, run, and participate in sports. To some degree, your limitations as an amputee will be determined by your own determination, hard work, and willingness to try new thing. I have been an AKA since birth, and have been a competitive alpine ski racer and was captain of my collegiate intramural basketball, football, and volleyball teams. To be sure, I have paid a price for that, participating in sports at this level can be physically painful and exhausting. However, where there is a will, there is a way.
One of the biggest drawbacks to electing an amputation is the cost of prosthetics. As prosthetic technology has improved, the cost of prosthetics has skyrocketed. For this reason, it is important that your attorneys have an in-depth knowledge of prosthetics as it will likely be the largest element of economic damages in your case. I have written the written the definitive guide for litigating limb loss cases, published by Trial magazine, entitled “Glimpsing the Future for An Amputee.”
I have helped clients across the United States with issues related to amputation and welcome the opportunity to hear what legal problem you are facing. Please contact me today for a free, no obligation consultation at 1-310-385-0567.