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Prosthet Orthot Int. 2008 Jun;32(2):223-30. doi: 10.1080/03093640802016795.

Removable rigid dressings: a retrospective case-note audit to determine the validity of post-amputation application.

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Flinders University Department of Rehabilitation and Aged Care, Australia.


This study investigated the validity of post-amputation application of removable rigid dressings (RRDs) for trans-tibial amputees, regarding preparation for prosthetic management and key rehabilitation timelines. It was hypothesised that the use of RRDs would result in faster preparation of the residual limb for prosthetic management and shorter rehabilitation times, compared with conventional soft dressings. A retrospective case-note audit was conducted, in which consecutive trans-tibial amputees who underwent amputation in the 2 years before RRD implementation (non-RRD group, n = 37) and in the 2 years after RRD implementation (RRD group, n = 28) were eligible for inclusion. There was a significant reduction in the geometric mean time-to-first-prosthetic-casting in the RRD group, compared with the soft-dressing group (36.4 days vs. 27.6 days, respectively, p < 0.05). A significant reduction in acute length of stay (LOS) for the RRD group was also identified (15.9 days vs. 8.7 days, respectively, p < 0.001). There were no significant differences in other rehabilitation timeframes, such as rehabilitation LOS, total LOS, outpatient rehabilitation days, and total rehabilitation days between the two groups. This study shows that the application of RRDs reduces acute LOS and time-to-first-prosthetic-casting, thereby providing substantial benefits in preparing the trans-tibial amputee for early rehabilitation and prosthetic intervention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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