Author(s): Francis W
This study is concerned with the degree of mobility achieved by patients following major amputation for arterial occlusive disease of the legs and its relationship to the level of amputation. Eighty-four out of a possible 85 consecutive amputees form the basis of the study and the degree of mobility was assessed and graded in survivors six months after amputation. Of the 69 survivors 74% were mobile to some degree and 57% walked daily with a prosthesis. Sixty-five per cent of all the amputations were below-knee. Seventeen per cent of below-knee stumps in patients surviving two weeks failed to heal. In amputees who attained a unilateral mobile healed stump 78% with below-knee amputations and 50% with above-knee amputations walked daily with a prosthesis. To obtain maximum mobility the knee should be retained whenever practical even though this results in some unhealed stumps requiring revision.