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(ăm'pyətā`shən), removal of all or part of a limb or other body part. Although amputation has been practiced for centuries, the development of sophisticated techniques for treatment and prevention of infection has greatly decreased its necessity. Surgical amputation is currently performed in cases of bone and tissue cancers, gangrene, and uncontrollable infections of the arm or leg. An amputation is performed as far above the affected area as is necessary to remove all unhealthy tissue and to leave a portion of sound tissue with which to pad the bone stump. Whenever possible amputations are performed at points on the limb that permit the fitting of prosthetic devices (see artificial limbartificial limb,
mechanical replacement for a missing limb. An artificial limb, called a prosthesis, must be light and flexible to permit easy movement, but must also be sufficiently sturdy to support the weight of the body or to manipulate objects.
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). Ceremonial amputation of finger joints has been practiced in parts of Australia and Africa in conjunction with male initiation rites. In some areas of New Guinea women have finger joints amputated to signify mourning.

What does it mean when you dream about an amputation?

Amputation has different connotations depending on the tone of the dream. When amputations do not refer to actual removal of limbs, they refer to the radical removal of something from one’s life. Positively, a dream about an amputation may refer to the removal of something that, although formerly quite close to the individual, is no longer necessary or desirable. Negatively, it may mean the abandonment of talents and powers represented by the amputated limb. Sometimes amputation may also represent a situation that one has been ignoring but which has finally reached a crisis point.


The surgical, congenital, or spontaneous removal of a limb or projecting body part.


This is a frightening dream which may be due to anxiety and fear. It suggests feelings of frustration, anger, and powerlessness on the part of the dreamer. This dream may also be related to a radical removal of something from one’s life. Some believe that you are trying to get rid of something that is no longer desirable or necessary or that the limb or the part being amputated has lost its power. According to New Age thinking, the right side of the body is usually associated with the ability to give emotionally, psychologically and physically to yourself and others, while the left is linked with the ability to receive. Carl Jung said that the left side represents the unconscious while the right indicates the conscious
References in periodicals archive ?
Ellie's father Paul Bishop, aged 35, said the damage to Ellie's left leg was worse than first feared and surgeons had been forced to amputate it.
The 93-year-old's publicist John Blanchette said: "They're going to have to amputate part of her leg.
A surgeon had to amputate the foot of 16-year-old William Barton because of a two-inch arterial tear found in his leg.
After the accident in Palermo on the Italian island of Sicily an ambulance took both Marie and Francesco to hospital - and doctors said last night they may have to amputate her leg because of her injuries.
The sunburn caused cancerous growths, and veterinary surgeons had to amputate the animals' ears to prevent the spread of the cancer.
But in overtime he dislocated his knee and complications from the injury forced doctors to amputate the leg below the knee nine days later.
Despite every effort to save it, vets were forced to amputate it due to the extent of her injuries and infection.
Ellie's father Paul Bishop, aged 35, said that the damage to Ellie's left leg was worse than first feared and surgeons had been forced to amputate above the knee.
Mr Unger had to have parts of his foot removed, until surgeons eventually had to amputate his leg below the knee.
Doctors at Serra in south Brazil decided to amputate when the poison spread - but the bid to save her failed.
The 36-year- old had at least four operations on the broken femur immediately after the incident,but surgeons were apparently forced to amputate below the knee due to complications.
An ambulance spokesman said: "Paramedics decided to amputate.