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Limb Loss Awareness

Each day, more than 500 Americans lose a limb.¹

A man with a prosthetic arm lifting weights

What is Limb Loss?

Limb Loss is the loss of all or part of an arm or leg due to trauma, infection, diabetes, heart diseases, cancer or other diseases. Approximately 2 million adults living in the U.S have limb loss. The number of people with limb loss is expected to double by 2050, largely due to the rise of diabetes.²

What CDC and our National Programs are doing

In April, from coast to coast, amputee support groups, veterans, rehabilitation centers, and those with limb loss or limb difference participated in a number of activities in their local area to raise awareness.

CDC supports and provides funding for the Amputee Coalition National Limb Loss Resource Center, which offers resources for people with limb loss, their families, friends, and the health care professionals involved in their lives. The resource center is one of eight National Public Health Practice and Resource Centers supported and funded by CDC to improve the quality of life for people living with disabilities.

The goal of the Amputee Coalition National Limb Loss Resource Center is to give accurate and timely information to individuals who need to understand and resolve issues about their healthcare. With the help of this information, they can choose the best available options, discuss these options with their healthcare providers and caregivers, and plan for their future.

Limb Loss Awareness Month

In 2011, the Amputee Coalition launched a nationwide awareness campaign with April as Limb Loss Awareness Month.

In 2012, 40 state governors acknowledged April as Limb Loss Awareness Month and President Obama recognized Limb Loss Awareness Month in a letter addressed to the public.

This year for Limb Loss Awareness Month, the Amputee Coalition launched Show Your Mettle Day on April 27th with a goal of showing that amputees are resilient and can thrive with limb loss. The Amputee Coalition used social media to promote Show Your Mettle Day by encouraging amputees to display their strength of character by showing their metal, such as prosthetic devices or wheelchairs, visibly in public on April 27th. Amputees were invited to participate in a photo challenge by uploading a photo of themselves on the Amputee Coalition’s Facebook Page.

Limb Loss Awareness Month designates a specific time to

  1. Provide support for individuals and caregivers within the limb loss community.
  2. Provide education to the limb loss community.
  3. Raise public awareness about limb loss education.
  4. Provide prevention information to people who do not have limb loss.
  5. Provide an opportunity for individuals within the limb loss community to discuss quality of life and other issues they face, with the public, legislators and the media.
  6. Recognize the contributions of military veteran amputees.

Local Limb Loss Awareness Month Events

All across the country, local amputee support groups conducted events in their towns to honor Limb Loss Awareness Month. Here are a few highlights:

Flint, Michigan-Limb Loss Awareness Day
Thursday, April 11, 2013

The event featured exhibit booths from prosthetic manufacturers and information tables about limb loss, and limb loss prevention. Participants were able to simulate what living with a lower extremity amputation is like using College Park Industries’ innovative leg prosthetic simulation booths. Amputee Coalition Certified Peer Visitor, David Dunville spoke with local Boy Scout troops about living with limb loss in order to help troop members achieve their disability awareness merit badge.

Atlanta, Georgia-Limb Loss Education Day
Saturday, April 20, 2013, 9am-4pm

The event featured the Orthotic & Prosthetic Activities Foundation’s (OPAF) McKeever's First Ride. First Ride is a family-friendly program for adults and children who are faced with physical challenges. Their goal is to promote personal achievement, physical fitness and social interaction.

Redlands, California-Open House
Sunday, April 21, 2013, 2pm-5pm

The Amputee Connection of Redlands hosted an Open House from 2pm-5pm on April 21, 2013, at the Redlands Community Hospital. Everyone seeking information from the amputeecommunity was invited to come by for an afternoon of sharing experiences and knowledge with three support groups.

Kodak, Tennessee-Limb Loss Awareness Night
Thursday, April 25, 2013

Amputee Coalition and Amputee Support Group of Knoxville (ASK) hosted a Limb Loss Awareness Night at Smokies Stadium in Kodak, TN on April 25. The event featured a pre-game interview with members of ASK and Coalition staff, in-game announcements of limb loss facts and limb loss prevention tips, and a first pitch thrown out by a member of the Amputee Support Group of Knoxville.

Lancaster, Massachusetts-Limb Loss Walk-a-Thon
Sunday, April 28, 2013, 12pm-3pm

The New England Amputee Association held a walk-a-thon at the Orchard Hills Athletic Club in Lancaster, MA from 12pm-3pm to honor limb loss awareness month.

New York, New York-Limb Loss Education Day
Saturday, May 18, 2013, 9am-4pm
NYU Global Center Grand Hall
238 Thompson Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10012

The event features OPAF's First Dance. First Dance gives participants a fun activity, with a partner for balance, and gets them moving, dancing, and socializing. First Dance provides a great setting to meet others.

Register Here.

You can contact the Amputee Coalition National Limb Loss Resource Center toll-free at 1-888-AMP-KNOW (1-888-267-5669), or by sending an email from their website.

We hope you will join CDC and Amputee Coalition in supporting Limb Loss Awareness Month.

Follow the National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities on Twitter @DrBoyleCDC


  1. Amputee Coalition. Limb Loss Awareness Month 2013. Retrieved from
  2. HCUP Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS). Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). In. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2009.