Factors affecting outcome after traumatic limb amputation




Traumatic leg amputation commonly affects young, active people and leads to poor long-term outcomes. The aim of this review was to describe common causes of disability and highlight therapeutic interventions that may optimize outcome after traumatic leg amputation.


A comprehensive search of MEDLINE, Embase and Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature databases was performed, using the terms ‘leg injury’, ‘amputation’ and ‘outcome’. Articles reporting outcomes following traumatic leg amputation were included.


Studies demonstrated that pain, psychological illness, decreased physical and vocational function, and increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality were common causes of disability after traumatic leg amputation. The evidence highlights that appropriate preoperative management and operative techniques, in conjunction with suitable rehabilitation and postoperative follow-up, can lead to improved treatment outcome and patient satisfaction.


Patients who undergo leg amputation after trauma are at risk of poor long-term physical and mental health. Clinicians involved in their care have many opportunities to improve their outcome using a variety of therapeutic variables. Copyright © 2011 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.