Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month

Teal graphic with orange ribbon that says April is limb loss and limb difference awareness month.

According to the Amputee Coalition, “More than 2 million Americans live with limb loss or limb difference, and more than 28 million are at risk of amputation surgery.”  April was designated as Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month to bring greater understanding to limb loss and to educate people about what it’s like to live with limb loss and limb difference.

Dwayne is a consumer who works with Rochelle Harrod, one of our Independent Living Specialists on housing issues.  About 5 years ago he had several surgeries trying to save his foot that was riddled with infection and complicated by his diabetes. He was always very compliant with his doctor and medical care. Unfortunately, last fall Dwayne experienced a terrible infection and he and the doctor decided to remove his foot. Dwayne said he knew he was likely to lose his foot at some point because of so many complications.  At Rehab he learned how to live without his foot and was fitted for a prosthesis. He has kept a positive attitude mentally and was very successful with his Physical Therapy. “I try to be as independent as possible, so I did it!” Dwayne has less pain, feels better and stronger now, and as though he has his life back.

infographic of limb loss statistics in the U.S. See below for transcription.

Infographic Description: Limb Loss in the U.S. from the Amputee Coalition.

SUPPORT THE MISSION: The Amputee Coalition is the leading, national nonprofit organization working to support people with limb loss and limb difference. Our mission is to reach out to and empower people affected by limb loss and limb difference to achieve their full potential through education, support and advocacy, and to promote limb loss prevention.

LIMB LOSS AND LIMB DIFFERENCE MONTH: The Amputee Coalition has designated April as Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month to raise awareness about limb loss and limb difference. To learn more, go to

OVERVIEW: 2.1 Million people living with limb loss in the U.S. 185,000 people have an
amputation each year in the U.S. 507 people lose a limb each day in the U.S. 1,558 military personnel lost a limb as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 3.6 million people will be living with limb loss by 2050. 36% of people living with limb loss experience depression. 85% of lower-limb amputations are preceded by a foot ulcer. Source information can be found at

FACTS: Lifetime healthcare costs for people with limb loss is $509,275 compared to $361,200
for people without limb loss. African Americans are 4 times more likely to have an amputation than
white Americans. Hospital charges for patients who underwent an amputation totaled $10 billion in 2014.

LIMB LOSS COMMUNITY INCIDENCE: Gender of Amputation Patients, 2014: 31% Female, 69% Male. Age at Amputation, 2014: Less than 1, .2%; 1-17, 1%; 18-44, 11%; 45-64, 46%; 65-84, 36%; older than 85, 6%.

LIMB LOSS COMMUNITY PREVALENCE: Cause of Amputation: Vascular Disease, 54%; Trauma, 45%; Cancer, 2%. Type of Amputation: Upper Limb, 35%, Lower limb, 65%.

This project was supported, in part, by grant number 90LLRC0001-01-00, from the Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.

Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month
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