Recognizing Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month

Recognizing Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month

Monday, 04 April 2022 08:38

During winter, the mountains surrounding Asheville, North Carolina, turn dull shades of gray or brown. With the exception of the evergreens, it is the one time of year when the forests and ridges are not full of vibrant color. 

Of course, that does not make them any less majestic; however, residents of western North Carolina look forward to the return of the brilliant rainbow of colors we experience most of the year. April is a season of transition to bring back the beauty tourists and residents associate with our area. 

It is the time when every day brings new blooms and an ever-changing view from your porch or patio. It is the month you get to enjoy all that makes our area special, including:

  • Thousands of miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. 
  • Camping in one of many state forests or campgrounds. 
  • Hanging a hammock by the French Broad River. 
  • Floating down one of the many creeks and streams crisscrossing our region. 
  • Driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway. 
  • Walking around downtown Asheville or one of the many mountain towns in our area. 
  • Eating at one of the many amazing restaurants. 

For people with limb loss or limb difference, any of these activities can be more challenging. In addition to being an amazing month of change and growth, April is Limb Loss Awareness Month. Here is what that means for the team at Orthopedic Appliance Company. 


What Is Limb Loss and Limb Difference?

Limb Loss

Limb loss is a condition in which a person loses a limb for various reasons. In the United States, there are approximately two million individuals who have limb loss. The number continues to increase because five-hundred amputations are performed by doctors and surgeons every day.

  • Reasons for limb loss commonly include:
  • Injuries sustained as a result of car accidents, sports accidents, or other traumatic events.
  • Diabetes, blood clots, osteomyelitis, and blood vessel illness are all examples of diseases.
  • Surgical intervention, particularly to remove a bone or muscle tumor

Per Johns Hopkins Medicine, nearly 70% of all limb loss results from amputation of upper limbs.

Limb Difference

This word is used to describe a circumstance in which a person is born with or develops an atypical limb. A developmental defect in the womb, an accident, or a disease are all common causes of limb difference.

According to the Amputee Coalition, "The CDC estimates that every year approximately 1500 babies in the U.S. are born with upper limb differences and 750 babies with lower limb differences."

There are many people born with limb difference. If you or someone you know experiences limb difference, you are exceptionally aware of the challenges and triumphs they face. However, if you do not have direct contact with someone who has limb difference, you may not realize how common it is. That is part of the motivation for the creation of Limb Loss Awareness Month. 

april is limb loss awareness month

April Is Limb Loss Awareness Month 

April was declared limb loss awareness month in 2010 by the Amputee Coalition. The goal is to raise awareness about the two million people living with limb loss and limb difference while providing support for their friends and family. For over sixty years, the team at Orthopedic Appliance Company has been providing western North Carolinians with the highest quality prosthetic devices. 

Per the Amputee Coalition:

“The obstacles that people living with limb loss and/or limb difference must overcome are no easy feats. As they adapt to a new way of living, amputees experience victories daily in simple areas of life.”

The Amputee Coalition formed thirty-five years ago. They exist to help ensure that no one has to go through limb loss alone. Today, they have over 350 support groups in their network, with over 1,000 certified peer visitors throughout the United States.

If you have limb loss or limb difference, or someone you love is experiencing an amputation, you will want to read as much as possible and get as much knowledge as possible. However, it is critical that you obtain your education from the appropriate sources. 

You can find excellent information and support from the Amputee Coalition.

What You Can Do to Help This April

You too can aid those with limb loss or limb difference this April. You may have a family member or acquaintance who has had or will have an amputation. Here are a few things you can do to help:

  • You could offer to accompany a person with limb loss or limb difference to doctor's appointments and rehab treatments.
  • You can assist a friend or family member with rearranging their apartment or house to make it more accommodating to their needs.
  • You can give people with limb differences rides to and from support groups.
  • You can help by having uncomfortable conversations rather than avoiding their company.
  • You can always inquire about how to effectively address the differences and what they require in order to overcome their obstacles.

Even if you don't personally know anybody with a limb difference, there are still ways to help this April:

  • Make your store or cafe more accessible and user-friendly for people who have limb loss.
  • Support people and organizations who assist those who have lost limbs financially.
  • Take the time to tell others about the persons you meet who have limb differences or have lost limbs.
  • Find out how you may get more involved with your local groups by contacting them.

For those who have experienced amputations or have limb differences, we work closely with involved physicians, therapists, other specialists, caregivers, and most importantly, our patients. The skilled OAC practitioner team follows a detailed, proven process to create the best prosthetic solution possible for both upper- and lower-limb applications.

High-Quality Artificial Limbs in Asheville, NC

In our many decades of service in Asheville, we have met many great people with powerful stories. Orthopedic Appliance Company has been a part of the lives of countless people with limb loss and limb difference. 

We are proud to play a role in their stories by helping provide increased mobility through the use of artificial limbs or prosthetic devices. If you would like to know more about our artificial limbs and prosthesis, please contact us. We would be happy to answer your questions and help you begin the process.