Natural history of the leg amputee.


For 173 patients undergoing major leg amputations, the operative mortality was 13 per cent. The ratio of below-knee (BK) to above-knee (AK) amputations was approximately unity. Of the 150 patients who survived amputation, 93 were given prostheses. Amoung the latter group, 76 per cent of the unilateral AK amputees and 90 per cent of the unilateral BK amputees had a successful rehabilitation. For those patients who had to be converted from BK to AK unilateral amputations, 40 per cent experienced successful rehabilitation, and for those who had either bilateral BK or bilateral mixed amputations, 45 per cent were successful. The most common contraindications to granting prostheses were debility and dementia. The mean time interval from first amputation to latest observation was 3.5 years (range, 5 weeks to 13.5 years). At three years 49 per cent of the patients survived and at five years 31 per cent survived. Despite major impediments, satisfactory rehabilitation is accomplished frequently enough to justify optimism for a considerable number of geriatric amputees.


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@article{Couch1977NaturalHO, title={Natural history of the leg amputee.}, author={Nathan P. Couch and James K. David and Nicholas L. Tilney and Courtney A. Crane}, journal={American journal of surgery}, year={1977}, volume={133 4}, pages={469-73} }