As experts in upper extremity amputation care or amputation of the arms, hands, or fingers, our multidisciplinary team handles complex limb care procedures, including:
- Finger amputation: A surgery to remove part of a finger or the entire finger.
- Ray amputation: Removal of a finger from the base of the palm.
- Wrist disarticulation: The surgical separation of the wrist and hand from the arm.
- Transradial amputation: A surgery to remove the lower arm below the level of the elbow.
- Transhumeral amputation: A procedure to remove the upper arm bone (humerus), along with the lower portion of the arm.
- Shoulder amputation: A surgery to remove the arm at the level of the shoulder.
We work to get you back to your daily activities following an upper limb amputation procedure. That includes physical therapy to improve your function and movement, and prosthetics support to ensure a proper fit.
Who May Need an Upper Limb Amputation?
While most patients coming to our total limb care experts have already had amputations, our team conducts amputations for people with certain conditions who are may need an amputation or who have tried limb salvage in the past. Patients might come to our team for amputation care following:
- Brachial plexus injury
- Cancer treatment
- Congenital disabilities
- Trauma, including electrical injuries and burns
If you or a loved one are considering limb salvage options, we have surgeons skilled in both limb salvage and amputation who can provide a personalized approach to your care journey.
What to Expect
We perform amputation surgeries using leading-edge techniques. We also provide long-term care to support ongoing care needs after amputation for our patients and patients who come to our team after their amputation procedure.
About the Amputation Surgery
Before your procedure, we can connect you with psychosocial support, such as groups, to help you manage the emotions of considering or coping with an amputation. You’ll also meet with your orthopedic and plastic surgeons together to discuss the procedure, including the site of the amputation, expected recovery, and rehabilitation plan. Many patients also have a lot of questions about prosthetics. So, our team connects you with a prosthetist early on to coordinate care, including getting fitted for the prosthesis.
During your surgery, you will receive general anesthesia (to put you in a sleep-like state) during your surgery. Your orthopedic surgeon will remove part or all of your limb while keeping as much healthy tissue as possible. Your plastic surgeon will then shape the stump to provide the best fit for your prosthetic.
What is Targeted Muscle Reinnervation?
Your physician may also perform targeted muscle reinnervation, a procedure that revives or reinnervates some nerve function, which will help improve your ability to control a prosthetic limb. This is helpful for upper limb amputees, since the function and mobility needs are more precise than for lower limb amputees. This procedure has also shown to alleviate some of the post-amputation pain.
Your physician may also recommend and support myoelectric prosthetics, which use nerve signals from the amputation site to power prosthetics for upper extremity amputations.
After your procedure, you’ll meet with your physical medicine and rehabilitation physician to work through a pain management plan. This plan might include multimodal medication, combining different types of medication to support pain management, as well as physical therapy. You’ll also meet with your prosthetist at the clinic, who will walk you through the next steps of recovery.
Long-term care after an amputation
Your care doesn’t stop after you’ve recovered from your amputation surgery. Many patients come to our team years after their amputation for continuing care, including pain management, prosthesis checks, physical therapy, and psychosocial support. Patients can also participate in community support groups with other amputees.
Why Choose UHealth?
All-inclusive care for amputee and limb salvage needs in one location. Physicians at the University of Miami Health System support patients through their amputation and decades after, with pain management, psychosocial support, physical therapy, and more. The team provides this care in a convenient location so patients can see their providers together.
Leading-edge treatments for all amputees. The team brings state-of-the-art techniques that aren’t offered at all medical centers. These techniques include targeted muscle reinnervation, myoelectric prosthetics, and osseointegration to improve the lives of amputees after their initial surgery.
A multidisciplinary team of innovators. Our team includes leading orthopedic surgeons, plastic surgeons, physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, psychologists, therapists, and social workers. We also collaborate closely with prosthetists throughout South Florida. This team of experts provides high-quality care for every aspect of your amputation.
World-class care in an academic health center. As a research and teaching institution, we treat children and adults with proven, advanced procedures based on clinical studies performed at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Our doctors, residents, nurses, and therapists work together to create healthy outcomes.
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