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Niger J Med. 2007 Oct-Dec;16(4):330-3.

Changing pattern for extremity amputations in University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Nigeria.

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Department of Orthopaedics, University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital Maiduguri.



Trauma has been the major indication for limb amputation in almost all studies emanating from the different parts of Nigeria, except in Maiduguri. Earlier studies from this part of the country recorded malignancy as the leading indication for amputation. There is need to review the current pattern of causes. The aim of this study is to ascertain the current indications for amputation in the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital and compare the findings with similar studies conducted in this centre about 15 years ago with a view to highlighting the changes in the pattern of causes. This would enable meaningful preventive measures to be proffered.


Case notes of all patients that underwent amputation surgery at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital between January 2000 and December 2004 were retrieved and retrospectively studied. Data collected from the folders include demographic indices, indication for amputation, level and laterality of amputation, follow up visits and use of prosthesis.


Forty-five patients' case notes with 49 amputations were analyzed. The male to female ratio was 3.5:1. The peak age incidence was in the 4th and 5th decade with 18 patients (40%). Trauma accounted for the highest indication with 21 amputations (42.8%) while malignancy was responsible for only 9 (18.4%). There were more lower extremity amputations, 35 (71.4%), as compared to the upper extremity, 14 (28.6%). Below knee amputation was the commonest amputation carried out constituting 22 (62.8%) of the 35 lower limb amputations.


Trauma, especially following from road traffic accidents was the major cause of limb loss in this part of Nigeria. Concerted efforts at enforcing the already existing traffic laws and regulations would go a long way in reducing the number and severity of cases of road traffic injuries that would require amputation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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