Clinical characteristics in relation to final amputation level in diabetic patients with foot ulcers: a prospective study of healing below or above the ankle in 187 patients

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The aim of this study was to describe the clinical characteristics in relation to final amputation level in diabetic patients with foot ulcers. In a prospective series, 187 consecutively presenting patients were investigated. From admission until final outcome, the patients were treated by a multidisciplinary team both as in- and out-patients. All the patients had one or more signs of neuropathy and 171 had evidence of peripheral vascular disease. Healing with an amputation below the ankle occurred in 74 patients, 88 patients healed with an amputation above the ankle, and 25 patients died unhealed. Amputation above the ankle was associated with high age, living in an institution, a limited walking capacity, cerebrovascular disease, congestive heart failure, and a low hemoglobin level. Amputation below the ankle was associated with diabetes diagnosis before 30 years of age and diabetes duration. In conclusion, older age, history of cerebrovascular disease and low hemoglobin level are associated with above ankle amputation level in diabetic patients with foot ulcers. However, level selection cannot be based upon these factors only, since some patients at high age, with cerebrovascular disease or with a low hemoglobin value, healed with an amputation below the ankle. None of these factors per se should be taken as a cause to choose a primary amputation above the ankle, unless amputation is supported by the total clinical picture, including local characteristics, such as type and localization of ulcer, and signs of peripheral vascular disease. More attention should be paid to biological than to chronological age.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Orthopedics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-74
JournalFoot & Ankle International
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1995
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Unit on Vascular Diabetic Complications (013241510), Department of Orthopaedics (Lund) (013028000), Diabetes and Endocrinology (013241530)