Transmetatarsal amputation in patients with peripheral vascular disease

G Geroulakos, A R May
European Journal of Vascular Surgery 1991, 5 (6): 655-8
Transmetatarsal amputation has the reputation of being an operation with a poor healing rate, and less than a 50% success rate had recently been reported. The outcome of this amputation in patients with peripheral vascular disease has been retrospectively studied in this paper by examining 34 transmetatarsal amputations performed over a 5-year period. Twelve patients had had previous toe amputations and 22 were diabetic with an overall healing rate of 68%. There was no significant difference in the success rate between diabetics and non-diabetics. One patient died in the postoperative period, giving an early post-operative mortality of 3%. Revision of failed transmetatarsal below-knee amputation resulted in healing in seven patients out of nine, suggesting that it does not compromise later amputation at a higher level. Healing did not appear to be influenced by factors such as sympathectomy, previous arterial reconstruction or peripheral pulses. Transmetatarsal amputation provides patients who have a short life expectancy with a durable functional stump which is prosthesis free.

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