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J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2014 Apr;67(4):555-60. doi: 10.1016/j.bjps.2013.12.039. Epub 2013 Dec 31.

Lower limb trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder: a single UK trauma unit's experience.

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  • 1Department of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, Frenchay Hospital, Bristol BS16 1LE, UK. Electronic address:
  • 2Department of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, Frenchay Hospital, Bristol BS16 1LE, UK.



The incidence and factors influencing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in victims of severe lower extremity injuries are largely unknown. We studied a cohort of patients treated in a specialist centre to try and elucidate these unknowns.


The Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist Scale (PCL-S) was used as a reliable and reproducible patient-reported outcome measure (PROM) assessing all patients for PTSD. Sixty patients were included in the study. This was a prospective analysis of the progression of the PCL-S scores. The data were analysed using a non-parametric Wilcoxon test.


Sixty patients were recruited into the study cohort. We found that the incidence in this cohort of PTSD was 30%. We found that age had an influence on outcome. Those who were 50 years old or over had a significantly lower incidence of PTSD according to the PCL-S scores and appeared to recover from it significantly more effectively.


Up to a third of patients suffering from a severe lower extremity injury will develop PTSD. Patients of the younger age group are more severely affected and will need psychological support to overcome their distress.

Copyright © 2013 British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Lower limb trauma; Outcomes in trauma; PTSD

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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