Amputation is the removal of a body part via surgery or trauma. It is usually performed
to stop a disease from spreading.

Amputation has a rather colorful history that began in the 15th century
when doctors performed surgical intervention on gangrenous or severely
injured limbs.

“Needless to say, the results were often less than perfect due to
infection and major blood loss,” says Cleveland
medical malpractice attorney
Christopher Mellino.

Amputations weren’t performed with any degree of frequency until
the 19th century, when anesthesia was introduced and blood loss and infection
control became more effective.

By the time the 20th century rolled around, better medicine resulted in
better amputations, including prosthetic limbs and longer, healthier lives.

In the 21st century, the major reasons for amputations included gangrene,
diabetic foot infections, bone infections, cancerous bone or soft tissue
tumors, and traumatic limb injuries.

Such a loss is difficult enough when a patient expects this type of surgery.
Imagine how he or she would feel upon waking up in the hospital and discovering
the wrong limb was amputated?

“If a person wasn’t expecting to lose a limb and wakes up missing
an arm, a foot, or a leg, the results are devastating,” says Mellino.

Aside from the possibility of a limb being amputated by mistake, there
is also the chance that an amputation does not go as expected, and the
results are less than optimal.

According to, between 50 and 80 percent of amputees
suffer phantom limb pain, during which the patient feels the missing extremity,
even though it is no longer there. This neuropathic pain may include burning,
itching, and aching.

If you have questions about an amputation, attorney
Chris Mellino welcomes you to
contact their Cleveland office for a free consultation.