DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Prosthetic lower leg. View of a prosthetic lower leg attached to the leg stump of a 60 year old man. He had his lower leg removed due to a chronic infection of his foot which had become gangrenous. During an amputation, some flesh and skin is left below the site of the bone cut so that a fleshy stump remains after the operation. This can be shaped by bandages and casts during convalescence into the ideal shape to fit the prosthetic limb. With the artificial limb attached, the patient is able to walk almost as well as before. Sometimes patients complain of pain in the removed limb ("phantom limb"). This is caused by the brain misunderstanding nerve signals from the stump.
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