Finding Answers To Your Questions About Amputation

Whether you personally or someone you care about is facing the possibility of losing a limb, this can be an emotionally stressful and challenging time.

We want to assure you that you are not alone. Each year, thousands of people undergo surgery for amputation. And for over 50 years, Össur has been serving this community by designing and developing prosthetics to help as many people with limb loss and limb difference as possible live a life without limitations.

We hope these resources can help you as you navigate your journey.

When considering the possibility of amputation surgery and limb loss, it is normal to have questions.

If you are awaiting an upcoming amputation surgery, you may want to know what to expect and how to best prepare for your procedure. You may wonder how long it will take to recover from amputation surgery.

If you have already had your amputation surgery and are adjusting to life with limb loss, you may have questions about the rehabilitation process or if you can use an artificial replacement limb – also called a prosthesis – in the future.


Note: Please note that the information provided on this site should not be considered medical advice. It is only intended to help you communicate with your healthcare providers. We encourage you to always seek the advice of your physician and your care team when evaluating your individual medical care and prosthetic options.

In addition, an estimated 185,000 additional people find themselves facing the experience of living with limb loss each year.

By the year 2050, the total number of people with limb loss and limb difference in the U.S. is projected to increase to 3.6 million.

Causes of Amputation

The main causes of amputation in the U.S. are:

Vascular Disease

Over half (54%) of all amputation surgeries in the U.S. are performed on people who have medical conditions such as diabetes and peripheral arterial disease, which cause circulation problems. A majority (85%) have been experienced a foot ulcer due to circulatory issues sometime before their foot or leg amputation surgery. Black patients are 4 times more likely to undergo amputation than white patients.

Accidents and Trauma

The second leading cause of amputation in the U.S., representing 45% of all cases, is trauma. These include people who have survived vehicular or workplace accidents, as well as members of the military who have been injured in active duty.


Cancer survivors represent fewer than 2% of all people living with limb loss in the U.S. today.

Congenital Limb Difference

Thousands of people have been born with congenital conditions resulting in missing limbs or body parts, and may decide to have surgical amputation to address pain and functionality issues.

What's in a word?

People who have had amputation surgery are often referred to as “amputees.” However, Össur prefers to use more inclusive language and refer to people as living with limb loss, limb difference, or limb absence. Learn more about our company’s commitment to Diversity and Inclusiveness.