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Prosthet Orthot Int. 1992 Aug;16(2):124-8.

Rehabilitation after amputation for vascular disease: a follow-up study.

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Limb Fitting and Preservation Centre of Såo Paulo, Brazil.


Rehabilitation of one hundred and twenty eight patients with lower limb amputation performed for vascular disease from 1979 to 1987 was assessed. Arteriosclerotic occlusive disease was the most frequent cause of amputation (85.9%). Sixty seven patients (52.3%) were diabetic. Early and late results were analysed. For long-term follow-up evaluation, Univariate method of Kaplan-Meyer product limit was employed. Multifactorial analysis was used to assess factors influencing mortality. On immediate evaluation of rehabilitation with a prosthesis 85.2% of patients were successfully fitted. On long term evaluation 47.8% of below-knee and 22.1% of above-knee amputees were alive and using the prosthesis full time at five years of follow-up (p = 0.0026). Opposite limb preservation at five years was 69.5% for diabetics and 90.2% for non-diabetics, respectively (p = 0.0013). Survival rate at five years was 42.4% for diabetics, and 85.0% for non-diabetics (p = 0.0002). On multifactorial analysis diabetic patients showed a risk of late mortality six times greater than non-diabetics. In conclusion rehabilitation after vascular amputation is feasible in a large number of patients, despite a limited life span. Diabetes represents a major risk factor both for life and for the opposite limb. Knee preservation is an important factor for better rehabilitation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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