Understanding the lifelong costs of a prosthetic limb

A prosthetic is an artificial limb that helps victims of amputation move around after losing their natural limbs. You can get amputated following a catastrophic accident or due to diabetes or vascular disease.

If the condition had advanced, you might have to be amputated to save your life. Furthermore, after an accident with severe injuries, you may require an amputation of one or both of your limbs that are damaged beyond saving. You will need to be fitted with a prosthetic to adapt to life again. This article seeks to explore the lifelong costs of using these artificial limbs.

Causes of Amputation

Recent statistics indicate that nearly 2 million Americans live with amputations and that about 190,000 amputation surgeries are performed annually. About 85% of these amputations are due to vascular disease, diabetes, and cancer, while the rest are accident-related.

Several factors can compel a doctor to come to that painful conclusion. As devastating as it is, it’s often done in the interest of the patient. The surgeon will have to remove the affected or dead limb to preserve the rest of the body. Sometimes an amputation could be caused by a medical procedure gone awry in which an amputation would be necessary.

Regardless of the cause, recovering from an amputation is a long and painful process beyond physical healing. You will have to confront many psychological, emotional, and mental distresses along the way. Thanks to technology, you can be fitted with a prosthetic limb, and with the right treatment, you will move around and still go back to work. However, the cost of maintaining an amputation and prosthetics are very high.

Understanding the Cost of Prosthetics

A prosthetic is a basic need, a costly basic need. You can buy a car at $25,000 and drive it for 20 years, but you can acquire a prosthetic limb for the same amount and use it for only a year. According to recent reports, a prosthetic leg can cost around $5000-50000. Unfortunately, no matter how sophisticated or costly the limb is, it is very susceptible to wear and tear.

You can wear it for only a few years, three years at most. Your constantly changing physique is another factor that necessitates the need to replace the artificial limb now and then. That means that on average, you could spend between $20000-100000 on prosthetics within three years.

The case is different with children who outgrow their artificial limbs much faster than adults and need a replacement every few months. As a growing child, they will need at least two prosthetic limbs each year, running into thousands of dollars in medical bills annually.

Statistics show that an amputee patient can spend up to $90,000 on medical bills within the first 24 months after the surgery. The same can cost over $500,000 during their lifetime. This translates to an estimated $48,000 every three years.

According to Disabled World, the cost of a prosthetic within five years is as follows:

  • $450,000 for a victim of multiple limb amputation
  • $23,000 for a victim of unilateral lower limb amputation
  • $117,000 for an individual living with unilateral upper limb amputation

Although some insurance covers include the cost of amputation and prosthetics, the coverage is limited to a few years and a specific amount. For instance, federal and state-funded medical insurance like Medicaid and Medicare only covers the partial costs of prosthetics, which means that victims will have to meet the remaining costs out of pocket. This is why it is advisable to have some form of medical insurance to avert a possible medical and financial catastrophe if you require an amputation.

Psychological Trauma

In addition to the financial strains, an amputee patient will have to endure psychological trauma such as depression, anger, emotional distress, and social withdrawal. They’ll also have to deal with the reality of lost wages and lost earning capacity. This is a heavy burden that will be hard to carry.

Do Not Suffer Alone

If you suffered a catastrophic accident that was not your fault and sustained injuries that require amputation, then you should not bear the burden alone. If the accident was due to another person’s negligence, you should fight for compensation for damages.

Federal and state laws protect your rights, ensuring that the liable parties are held accountable and that you are rewarded for your loss, your pain, and overall suffering. Reach out to a car accident lawyer with the expertise and experience in handling amputation cases and who will help you find justice.

About the author:

Timothy Walton is a law school graduate and a freelance blogger with a knack for self-sufficiency. He also has three successful home business ideas under his belt. Currently, Timothy is working as a collaborative editor for Ben Crump Law. In his free time, when he is not strolling outside his lake house in rural Georgia with his two Labs, Rex and Lucilla, he is either trying his hand at writing a novel or daydreaming about his next nomadic adventure.