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Ann Chir Gynaecol. 1988;77(1):32-6.

Upper limb amputations in southern Finland 1984-85.

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  • 1Invalid Foundation Orthopaedic Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.


There is a specific requirement for amputee statistics to facilitate the planning of prosthetic rehabilitation of amputee patients. The aim of this study was to analyse the epidemiological situation concerning upper limb amputations in southern Finland. The data on all limb amputations made in the catchment area of the Helsinki University Central Hospital were collected for the period 1984-85. During the two-year period upper limb amputations had been performed on 52 patients. A total of six major amputations had been performed on 52 patients. A total of six major amputations had been performed at a level potentially requiring a prosthesis, and 46 patients had undergone amputation distal to the carpal joint. The overall upper limb amputation rate was 2.2 and rate of major amputations 0.3 per 100,000 inhabitants per year. The ratio of men to women was 7.7 for all amputations and 10.5 for finger amputations. Of the 52 amputees, 62 per cent were in the 20-59 age group. The mean age of all amputees was 42.7 years. The typical upper limb amputee was a man of active working age. Trauma, mainly occupational accident, was the most common cause, accounting for 61 per cent of all upper limb amputations. The annual incidence of major amputations in the whole of Finland is as low as 20-30 cases. It would seem reasonable to concentrate prosthetic fitting of upper limb amputations at two or three prosthetic factories and rehabilitation centres.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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