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Key facts about amputation injuries

Amputation injuries are a serious risk for construction workers who have to use hand tools and heavy machinery every day. They can be life-changing, perhaps making it so that the person can never work again. Even with quick medical care, an amputation injury is often permanent and there is nothing that doctors can do.

To help you understand the risks you face, here are a few key facts about these catastrophic injuries:

  • Partial amputations often allow for the damaged limb to remain attached, as the muscle, tissue or bone has not been completely severed, but they sometimes require doctors to finish the amputation when damage is too severe.
  • A complete amputation, conversely, means that the limb has been completely disconnected on the site.
  • The easiest amputations to reattach are those involving sharp edges and clean cuts, as the surrounding tissue does not get damaged.
  • The hardest amputations to reattach -- it's often impossible -- are crush injuries. These not only severe the limb but also cause extensive soft tissue damage.
  • When a limb is severed with a stretching, pulling motion, it's called an avulsion amputation. Since the tissues tear at multiple levels and in different places, it leads to extensive damage, and in most cases, doctors cannot reattach the limb.

No matter what type of amputation injury you suffer from, even when reattachment is possible, you are going to go through a lot of pain and suffering, you're going to have high medical bills and you're going to miss time at work. You may also still have lasting ramifications. Make sure you understand your legal options.

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