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J Formos Med Assoc. 1994 May;93(5):388-92.

Ten-year clinical analysis of diabetic leg amputees.

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Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, R.O.C.


The clinical characteristics of 234 amputees admitted to the National Taiwan University Hospital during a 10-year period were analyzed. Diabetes mellitus accounted for 37.2% (87 cases) of the amputations and was the most commonly associated disease. Malignancy was the second cause of amputation (16.2%). Traffic accidents and atherosclerosis (without diabetes mellitus) each accounted for about 13% of the amputations. Below-knee amputation was the most commonly performed procedure among the diabetics, while above-knee, below-knee and ray amputations were roughly equally performed among non-diabetic patients. Reamputations were done in 16 diabetic and 12 non-diabetic patients, mostly within a short period of time after the first amputation. Four of the diabetic reamputations and nine of the non-diabetic reamputations were performed on the same side as the first amputation. The mean +/- standard error of admission days and total expenses for each episode of amputation were 36.2 +/- 2.7 days and 116.5 +/- 1.7 thousand New Taiwan dollars for the non-diabetics and 41.3 +/- 4.0 days and 134.0 +/- 16.0 thousand New Taiwan dollars for the diabetics, respectively. We concluded that: 1) diabetes mellitus was the main cause of amputation; 2) diabetes mellitus was associated with a higher rate of reamputations of the contralateral legs; and 3) a multidisciplinary foot-care team is essential for the management of lower leg amputations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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