Cause of Affected and Missing Limb
1. A Child with affected limb is not able to perform fully the activities involving the use of bones, muscles and joints. Similar handicap is experienced by children with the missing limb. Such children are known to be orthopaedically crippled.
2. Cruickshank, the psychologist defines a child with affected and missing limb 'as one who has a defect which causes a deformity or an interference with the normal functioning of bone, muscle or joint.' Such orthopaedic (bony) conditions may be congenital or acquired.
3. Congenital Deformity can occur due to genetic problems. Pregnancy is a critical period. Foetal formation is adversly affected if the pregnant mother suffers from measles, mumps, jaundice and other severe viral infections. Drug abuse among pregnant mothers may also result in the improper foetal formation of bones, limbs and other important body organs.
4. Acquired Orthopaedic Defects can occur at any stage in life. Polio and bone tuberculosis among small children has long lasting crippling effect on them.
5. Congenital or acquired muscular atrophy (Muscular damage) affects the efficiency of muscular performance. The extent of damage is determined by the severity of the atrophy.
6. Spinal injuries are often responsible for limiting the efficiency of one's motor activities.
7. Accident involving limb amputations result in bone deformities coupled with varying degrees of incapacitation.
Measurement of Orthopaedic Defects
The seriousness of the defect can be measured in terms of limb performance. Minor impairment of limbs may not be much of a hindrance in child's movements. On the other hand if the defect is severe and permanent, then the child's movement and independence will be seriously affected. And this can lead to maladjustment problems.
Characteristics of a Child with Affected / Missing Limb
1. Physical defect leads to inferiority complex among young children.
2. The feeling of inadequacy result in self pity.
3. These children isolate themselves from those around them. Loneliness reflects awkward social behaviour.
4. A little older child often goes through psychological trauma because of the discrepancy between his/her aspirations and the ability to perform.
5. Anxiety, extreme depression, escapism and over aggression are seen among children with affected and missing limbs.