If you're like many people who live in the Oklahoma City area, you work in the city but live in Mustang, Choctaw or elsewhere on either side of downtown. More than likely, you take an interstate to get to work each day.
No one likes to sit in traffic, so the higher speed limit on the freeway may be a blessing. On most days, you go with the flow of traffic and arrive at work on time and unscathed. You have probably avoided being involved in multiple accidents, as many happen on I-40, but at some point your luck ran out, and you suffered a severe injury that required an amputation.
What makes an amputation necessary?
In many cases, amputation is necessary because the injury compromised the blood flow to that portion of the limb due to damage done to an artery. Without proper circulation, the limb can't survive. Doctors may have tried everything possible, but now they believe that the only way to ensure that you survive is to remove the damaged portion of the limb.
What can I expect during surgery?
Your doctor will more than likely go over everything with you, but in general, you can expect the following:
- Your doctor will determine the extent of the amputation. However, once the surgery begins, it may be necessary to remove more of the limb, depending on what the surgeon finds.
- Your surgeon removes the affected portion of the limb, along with any crushed bone that may prevent the use of a prosthesis.
- Depending on your situation, the surgeon may close the skin at the end of the procedure if infection isn't a consideration. Otherwise, the surgeon leaves the site open to facilitate cleaning and to ensure it's free of infection. At that point, your surgeon can then close the site.
- Your post-operative care includes careful monitoring of circulation and sensation by medical personnel.
- Before you even leave the hospital, physical therapy tailored to your needs begins.
You remain in the hospital long enough to ensure that your healing progresses well. During that time, you may meet with someone for a prosthesis. You may also meet with a counselor for help processing what happened and what will happen in the future since losing a limb can be extremely traumatic.
Once you go home
After your discharge from the hospital, you will more than likely be cautioned to watch for the following issues:
- You may experience an increase in pain at the amputation site.
- You may experience redness, bleeding, swelling or discharge from the site.
- You may have tingling or numbness in the part of the limb that remains.
- You may experience chills or a fever.
You should report any of these symptoms to your doctor immediately since it could indicate a serious issue, including infection.
Life will change
Your life will never be the same again. You will need to make certain adjustments to your personal and professional life. You will more than likely end up with significant medical bills, and you probably lost income and could continue losing income during your recovery. As you heal and attempt to make the necessary adjustments to your life, you may wonder how you will recover financially.
If your accident resulted from the negligence of another party, you may consider filing a personal injury claim against the responsible party or parties. An insurance company may attempt to offer you a settlement during this time. More than likely, it will not be adequate, so it is important to explore your full range of options for obtaining the compensation you need and deserve. Talk to an experienced personal injury attorney about your options.