Here Are a Few Surprising Limb Loss Statistics

woman with prosthetic leg

Limb loss isn’t as uncommon as people think. In fact, most people - even people with limb loss or their friends and families - would probably be surprised to learn just how common it is.

There are other limb loss statistics that are surprising to most people. Here, we’ve collected a few of the most eyebrow-raising stats related to limb loss in the United States.

There Are More Amputees Than You Think

If you were to ask yourselves how many people currently live with limb loss in the United States, you’d probably be off. That’s because there are over 330 million people in the U.S., and against such a big number, the number of people with limb loss can’t be that high, right?

Well, in reality, there are over 2.1 million people in the country who are living with limb loss today. That’s 0.63% of the population. There are 3.5 million truck drivers, for comparison’s sake, which equals 1.06%. Truck drivers seem to be everywhere, so just imagine that two out of every three truck drivers that you pass on the roads and highways every day are missing a limb. That should give you a better idea of just how many amputees there are in the country.

That number is expected to double by 2050, by the way, which is faster than the entire population will grow. Those with limb loss will account for 0.96 percent of the population by then.

How did that number get so high? Well, each year, 185,000 people go through an amputation. That works out to roughly 300 to 500 amputations every 24 hours, somewhere in the nation. The most common type of amputation? A below-knee amputation, which accounts for 71% of all dysvascular amputations.

Limb Loss Can Be Costly in Several Ways

Did you know that over their entire lifetime, it’ll cost more for those with limb loss than those without? Lifetime healthcare costs for an amputee is $509,275, on average, which is almost
$150,000 more than the lifetime cost for a person without limb loss.

Hospital charges for patients who undergo an amputation collectively totaled $8.7 billion in 2013, a number that has probably risen over the past few years. The collective cost to insurance, both public and private, is over $12 billion each year.

Limb loss isn’t just costly in a financial sense; it’s costly in a psychological sense, too. According to research, approximately 30% of people with limb loss suffer from depression, anxiety, or both. That’s compared to 18% of the adult population as a whole.

As a provider of care for those suffering from limb loss, we understand the gravity of the situation. Going through an amputation is a major life change. But, it’s not the beginning of the end; it’s the end of the beginning, and the beginning of your new phase of life.

The numbers can be daunting, but life with limb loss doesn’t have to be. With help and perseverance, you can live a normal life and regain the independence you once had.

BioTech designs and manufactures prosthetic devices for people suffering from limb loss. We treat every patient with compassion and respect, and we work hard to deliver superior service and prosthetic devices that change lives. Recognize your possibilities. Contact us today for more information.

A Thank You Note from Samuel

Here at BioTech, our patients come first – no matter what. And while we know our customers love us (almost) as much as we love them, it’s always nice to get a thank you note from someone who wants to tell us how we made a difference in their life.

Take a look at this adorable message and artwork from one of our patients, Samuel Johnson!

thank you note

Dear BioTech Limb and Brace,

I’m very thankful that Children’s Hospital had told us about these braces. These braces are better than my other braces, and very much more comfortable then [sic] the others. My first braces I hated because they always pinched me, and it left blood blisters because they had hinjes [sic]. My second braces was [sic] a lot better than the first ones because instead of hinjes they had flexible plastic.

The first and second pair of braces are nothing compared to these awesome carbonite braces with springs. Now I know for a fact that they have springs. Well how I know is because when we was [sic] at co-op which is a place where we meet up with other homeschoolers to do class on every Monday. I was racing my friends inside and jumped higher than ever before and I couldn’t stop myself from from [sic] falling so I slid across the concrete and flew into the door. The first time I put these braces on I felt a whole lot better. Thank you BioTech for helping me.


Samuel K. Johnson

thank you note

We Can Help You Feel a Whole Lot Better, Too!

Improving quality of life is one of our main goals for our patients. That’s why Samuel’s letter resonates with us so deeply – he has put into words what we want for everyone who walks through our door. Whether it’s orthotic braces or a prosthetic device, patient comfort and satisfaction is our top goal.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you!

Navigating the Holidays with a Prosthetic Device

prosthetic device

For many of us, family gatherings over the holidays are complicated already. (Yes, some people out there have nothing but fun in these situations – but most of us feel a little anxious.) If you’re new to limb loss and still adjusting to your prosthetic device, it might seem even more daunting to think about getting together with family this season.

Here at BioTech, we completely understand how strange it can feel to navigate this new world you’ve entered, and we’ve got some tips to make the holidays go as smoothly as possible. Read on!

Make Your Wishes Clear

Everyone feels differently about losing a limb. If you’re fine talking about it, then go ahead and mention your prosthesis as soon as the first person asks how you are. A casual “I’m good, just still getting used to this thing!” can break the ice immediately and signal to your loved one that you don’t mind discussing your amputation.

However, if you’d rather not be asked about the situation, it may be wise to have a trusted family member communicate that beforehand to everyone who will attend the event. This way, you’ll avoid the covert glances, the hesitant half-questions (“So, about your, uh…”), and the general uncertainty that comes along with these kinds of things. No one will want to handle it poorly, so if you can set out your wishes clearly ahead of time, it will be to everyone’s benefit once the gathering is underway.

Practice Your Answers

If you decide to face the situation head-on and address everyone’s inquiries, you may want to rehearse some answers before you go. This might sound silly, but in the end, it can save you a lot of energy – especially if you’re an introvert!

Think about the five questions you’re most likely to hear. This will vary from person to person, but generally, your family members will probably ask how you’re feeling, how your recovery has gone, how you’re adapting to your prosthesis, and so forth. Consider how much detail you’d like to go into when you answer these questions, and craft an answer that will satisfy the asker without requiring you to divulge more than you want.

(And remember, if you get too many follow-up questions, excusing yourself from the conversation is totally warranted.)

Give Yourself an Out

There aren’t many things worse than being trapped at a holiday gathering with no escape. If you think you might panic halfway through, or if the questions become more than you anticipated and you’re tired of being the center of attention, find something that will give you an out if you need it.

There are lots of things you could use for a potential escape, but one thing to keep in mind is that your family already realizes you’ve been through a lot. If you tell them you’re ready to go home and rest, they will likely let you leave without giving you a hard time (or they should, anyway). Honesty may be the best policy when it comes to leaving the event early, but you’ll have to decide that for yourself.

Call BioTech for Your Prosthetic Device Needs!

We love our patients so much that we treat them like family. If you need a friendly ear, advice from an expert, or a fitting adjustment, contact us right away. We are always here to help!