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Adapting to an amputation after a workplace accident

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2021 | Workplace Injuries |

Workplace accidents that result in amputations change workers’ lives permanently. Amputations of fingers, toes, feet, legs, hands or arms may leave workers unable to work and earn an income. They may struggle with pain, anxiety and dysfunction within their own bodies.

If you’re hurt on the job, it is your employer’s responsibility to make sure you get the medical care and workers’ compensation coverage that you need. If you’ve suffered an amputation, they that care may include:

  • Surgery
  • Prosthetics
  • Rehabilitation
  • Occupational therapy
  • Job training services
  • A portion of your lost wages

You may also want to look into seeking support for your mental health. An amputation has many physical challenges, but the psychological impact can be just as devastating.

What determines how serious the psychological response to an amputation will be?

Amputation results in a loss of sensation, function and physical image. Many people who suffer from amputations are resilient and able to work through the physical changes that alter how they function in day-to-day life, but they may still struggle mentally with the physical appearance of the new limb, the loss of sensation or losing the ability to do the things they once could. It is not uncommon to see people who have had an amputation have anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder or depression.

There are some variables that impact how well people adapt after an amputation. These variables include:

  • Age
  • Personality type
  • Economic factors
  • Psychosocial support systems

Those who are generally positive, who have strong economic support and who have the support of friends and family are more likely to adapt better to this major change. Younger people also tend to adapt more quickly, but this is not always the case.

What all this means is that it is essential that those who go through such a major life change and trauma should receive all the support that they need to help transition into living with a disability. Good financial support, such as with workers’ compensation, support from their medical team, family and friends, and general support at work could all be beneficial to helping them recover.

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