Lower Extremity Amputation Surgeries in a Sub-urban Teaching Hospital in Nigeria

Odatuwa-Omagbemi DO


Introduction: Amputation surgeries involving the lower limbs are common. Indications for
these surgeries vary. The effect of major lower limb amputation on the individual and family
could be devastating. The aim of this study is to highlight the pattern and burden of lower limb
amputations in our environment and make suggestions on the way forward.
Patients and Methods: A 36 month retrospective review of patients who had lower limb
amputations in my centre. Data were collected from ward and theatre records of patients in
addition to that obtained from case notes and analysed accordingly.
Results: Eighty one patients had 86 lower limb amputation surgeries during the study period.
The male to female ratio was 2.5:1. The average age of patients was 56.7+18.9 years. Most of the
patients (58%) were in their 6 to 8 decades of life. The commonest indication for amputation
was diabetic foot disease in 55.8% of cases. Below knee amputation was the commonest
procedure carried out (67.44%). Wound infection was the commonest post-operative
complication occurring in 28.9% of wounds.
Conclusion: Diabetic foot disease was the commonest indication for amputation in our
centre. Appropriate measures including patients' education on foot care, good glycaemic
control and prompt treatment of foot injuries would help reduce the incidence of lower limb
amputations due to diabetes mellitus. In addition efficient social support system, rehabilitation
and the right prosthetic fitting where necessary is mandatory for lower limb amputees if they
are to function optimally and independently after surgery.


Amputation, Lower limb, Diabetic foot disease.

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