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Prosthet Orthot Int. 2012 Dec;36(4):430-4. doi: 10.1177/0309364612441489. Epub 2012 Mar 22.

The cost of major lower limb amputation: a 12-year experience.

Author information

  • 1University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire, Coventry, UK. robert.jordan@doctors.org.uk



The amputee population is elderly, has significant medical co-morbidities and perioperative mortality leading to high financial implications. Commonly used outcomes in the literature are survival, prosthetic use and mobility.


Our study aims to share our 12-year experience of amputee care, concentrating on perioperative mortality and patient rehabilitation.


Observational study in the form of a retrospective case series.


In total, 130 amputations, performed between January 1998 and December 2009, were followed up for a mean of three and a half years and analyzed for demographics, vascular history, operation details, prosthetic use, mobility and mortality.


The population was 59.2% male, had a mean age of 73 and the most common indication for amputation was critical ischaemia (78.5%). The average length of acute inpatient stay was 63 days with a 30-day mortality rate of 15.3% and inpatient mortality of 29.3%. In total, 63.3% of patients were issued with a prosthesis with 48.2% of all patients achieving at least indoor mobility, transtibial (49.9%) rehabilitated better than transfemoral amputees (24.3%).


Our data support the urgent need for action to improve perioperative mortality in the amputee population, with the added advantage of reducing its financial impact. Clinical relevance Our study gives an overview of the clinical journey taken by a 12-year amputee population. By following this cohort from initial procedure through to rehabilitation or mortality we provide the reader with a valuable insight into the difficulties of managing this population and the likely outcomes for these patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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