Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Evaluation Treatment amputated part specialist tetanus Home Care pain in adults pain in children warning signs Underlying Cause Types

Amputations Treatment

The treatment for an amputation depends on the injury, and on how much tissue has been lost. If the injury involves severe destruction of the amputated part, then re-attaching the amputated body part may be impossible. If the amputated tissue is very small, the open wound may be left to heal, without reattaching the tissue.

In most cases, the amputated portion is re-attached by a surgeon. A surgeon must decide if re-attaching the amputated body part will preserve function. The wound must be cleaned thoroughly, and foreign material must be removed before surgery. The surgical procedure may take many hours, as the surgeon attempts to reconnect bones, blood vessels, tendons, nerves, and other tissues. Depending on the injury, healing may take weeks to months.

Treatment for amputations due to injury may include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Wound irrigation
    • Rinsing the wound
  • Wound cleansing
  • Wound exploration
  • Wound debridement:
    • Removal of dead or dirty tissue
    • Removal of foreign bodies in the wound
  • Tetanus vaccination
  • Surgery to reattach amputated tissue
  • Splint or cast

Amputations Amputated Part

Place the amputated tissue inside a clean, sealed plastic bag or cup and then place the container on ice. Avoid direct contact between the amputated part, and water or ice.

Amputations Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat amputations:

Amputations Tetanus

Those with an amputation who require treatment to prevent tetanus include:

Dirty wounds include:
  • Wounds that occur outdoors
  • Wounds that contain dirt or foreign material

Treatment Options

Tetanus Vaccine and TIG Recommendations
HistoryClean, Minor WoundOther Wounds
< 3 boostersgive Tdgive Td + TIG
3 boosterspossible Tdpossible Td

Clean and minor wounds may need a booster if it has been more than 10 years since the last tetanus vaccine. Other wounds may need a booster if it has been more than 5 years since last tetanus vaccine.

Continue to Amputations Home Care

Last Updated: Jun 3, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Amputations References
  1. Adani R, Marcoccio I, Tarallo L. Nail lengthening and fingertip amputations. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2003 Oct;112(5):1287-94. [14504512]
  2. Liang HW, Chen SY, Hsu JH, Chang CW. Work-related upper limb amputations in Taiwan, 1999-2001. Am J Ind Med. 2004 Dec;46(6):649-55. [15551379]
  3. McClure SK, Shaughnessy WJ. Farm-related limb amputations in children. J Pediatr Orthop. 2005 Mar-Apr;25(2):133-7. [15718888]
  4. Rosen RC. Digital amputations. Clin Podiatr Med Surg. 2005 Jul;22(3):343-63. [15978406]
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