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J Foot Ankle Surg. 2007 Nov-Dec;46(6):429-33.

Long-term outcomes of patients undergoing war-related amputations of the foot and ankle.

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Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


Long-term clinical and functional outcomes for patients undergoing foot and ankle amputations are not well documented. We attempted to document long-term outcomes for patients who required lower extremity amputations as a result of wounds suffered during wartime. For this study, 27 Iranian soldiers who had wounds requiring amputation of the foot and ankle were selected for follow-up. The participants' wartime medical records were reviewed, a clinical examination was performed, and each participant completed a questionnaire. Postamputation follow-up averaged 17.5 years. The most prevalent (66.6%) cause of injury was a land mine. The prevalences of different clinical symptoms reported by the amputees at the time of the last follow-up were as follows: 11 (40.7%) with phantom sensation, 6 (22.2%) with phantom pain, 12 (44.4%) with stump pain, 12 (44.4%) with back pain, 9 (33.3%) with contralateral knee pain, and 4 (14.8%) with ipsilateral knee pain; 20 (74%) reported treatment for psychological conditions. In regard to social conditions, 13 (48.1) were currently employed, or had been employed, for a number of years after the amputation; 26 (96%) had children, and all of the patients were married. The results of this observational study indicate that individuals have significant long-term pain and discomfort after war-related lower extremity amputation. Although all 27 (100%) of the amputees were able to maintain satisfactory family functioning, only 13 (48.1%) of the study participants were able to remain productively employed after undergoing amputation, and 20 (74%) reported long-term psychological problems in addition to their physical pain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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