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What is the amputation process?

Partial foot amputation
What is the amputation process?
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What are the various levels of amputation?

Partial foot amputation
What are the various levels of amputation?
read more

What partial foot amputation means for me?

Partial foot amputation
What partial foot amputation means for me?
read more

What are the various levels of amputation?

Level of partial foot amputation

From the small toe to the tarsus

The aim is always to preserve as much of your foot as possible. This is a question of your own perception, but also a medical issue. The more is retained, the easier your subsequent life will be. The level of the partial foot amputation will determine how well you'll be able to stand and walk later on.

Amputation on the foot: the ankle marks the boundary

Ideally, it'll be sufficient to amputate a toe. In any case, the surgeon will attempt to fully retain the metatarsal bones.

However, if the head of the toe joint can't be preserved, the metatarsal bone belonging to the toe must also be removed – at least partially. Medical professionals refer to this as a "ray". The loss of a ray is enough to greatly affect the ability to stand and walk. Without a prosthesis, this will lead to malpositions.

If the entire metatarsal area has already been affected, the surgeon will have to remove all of the metatarsal bones. The surgeon creates a rounded residual foot cap so that the bones are of the same length. This makes it easier for the precise fitting of a partial foot prosthesis later on.

Even when the anterior tarsal bones or the entire tarsus are affected, the surgeon should create a rounded cap so as to facilitate a prosthetic fitting.

The ankle is retained in all of these cases. As a rule, the foot will be able to bear weight with the help of a custom partial foot prosthesis – allowing you to stand and walk. If the ankle is amputated but not the knee, we call this a transtibial amputation. When the knee is also affected it is called a transfemoral amputation.

The level of amputation is usually decided by the orthopaedist and the operating surgeon. But with regard to the long-term fitting of a partial foot prosthesis, it's wise to involve the prosthetist before the amputation.