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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.
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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 Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


The surgical, congenital, or spontaneous removal of a limb or projecting body part.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


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
Bedside Dream Dictionary by Silvana Amar Copyright © 2007 by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
In the present case report, we treated a critically injured patient after traumatic amputation and subsequent development of severe septic shock with a combination of CVVHDF plus hemoadsorption.
Total reconstruction of the auricle after traumatic amputation. Plast Reconstr Surg 1994; 94: 859-64.
Experiencing a traumatic amputation or burn injury has been linked to depressive symptoms and PTSD.
Leg length preservation with pedicled fillet of foot flaps after traumatic amputations. Plast Reconstr Surg.
The goal of replantation after a traumatic amputation is successful salvage of the limb in both form and function.
One outcome of research Into the life-long experiences of 500 Vietnam-era veterans with traumatic amputation was at the heart of a recent summit that focused on an urgent issue facing a new generation of seriously injured military veterans: What needs to be done to address disparities of care and community integration as essential components of recovery?
Psychological factors after traumatic amputation in landmine survivors: The Bridge between physical healing and full recovery.
The diagnosis: complete traumatic amputation at a level of the upper third of left shoulder.
Addressing anatomy, etiology, evidence-based medical and surgical management, and application of occupational therapy, they first discuss orthopedics, and topics such as surgical principles, therapy and surgery for lower and upper limbs, spinal conditions, and pediatric conditions, then address aspects of trauma, including principles of fracture management, pelvic, hand, and brachial plexus injuries, and traumatic amputation. Contributing authors work in orthopedics and trauma, amputee therapy, and occupational therapy in the UK and Australia.
His injuries included a complete traumatic amputation of his right hand and traumatic amputation of his left thumb and index finger.
This includes the often invisible wounds of combat stress, pain, depression, and PTSD, as well as the very visible wounds of traumatic amputation, some forms of TBI, shrapnel damage, and other combat-related injuries.
Dr Vixseboxe said he saw the crane lifting Mr Barnett and the grille out of the water together and confirmed this did not result in a "traumatic amputation" of his leg.