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Foot Ankle Clin. 2010 Mar;15(1):151-74. doi: 10.1016/j.fcl.2009.10.001.

Recent advances in lower extremity amputations and prosthetics for the combat injured patient.

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Brooke Army Medical Centre, 3851 Roger Brooke Drive, DOR, Fort Sam Houston, TX 48234, USA.


Blast-related extremity trauma represents a serious challenge because of the extent of bone and soft tissue damage. Fragmentation and blast injuries account for 56% of all injuries produced within the Iraqi and Afghan theaters where, as of July 2009, 723 combatants have sustained lower extremity limb loss. If limb salvage is not practical, or fails, then amputation should be considered. Amputation can be a reliable means toward pain relief and improvement of function. Optimizing functional outcome is paramount when deciding on definitive amputation level. Preservation of joint function improves limb biomechanics in many cases. Increased limb length also allows for the benefits associated with articular and distal limb proprioception. Amputees with improved lower extremity function also usually exhibit less energy consumption. Function and length are generally directly correlated, whereas energy consumption and length are inversely related. This article discusses the surgical principles of lower extremity amputation and postoperative management of amputees, and the various prosthetic options available.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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