Long-term prognosis after healed amputation in patients with diabetes
Summary, in English
In this prospective study, mortality, rehabilitation, and new amputations on the same or on the contralateral leg were studied in 189 patients with diabetes who had achieved healing of an index amputation. Ninety-three patients had achieved healing after an index minor (below the ankle) and 96 after an index major (above the ankle) amputation, precipitated by a foot ulcer. The healing time was 29 weeks (range, 3-191 weeks) with a minor amputation and 8 weeks (range, 3-104 weeks) with a primary major amputation. The mortality 1, 3, and 5 years after the index amputation was 15%, 38%, and 68%, respectively, and was higher in patients who had achieved healing after major amputation than in patients achieving healing after minor amputation. The rate of new amputations after 1, 3, and 5 years of observation was 14%, 30%, and 49%, respectively. There was no difference among patients with an index minor and those with an index major amputation. The rate of new major amputations was 9%, 13%, and 23%, respectively, and was higher in patients with an index major amputation. Eighty-five percent of new amputations were precipitated by a foot ulcer. Patients living independently before the index amputation returned to living independently more often after a minor than a major amputation (93% versus 61%). One year after the index amputation, 70% of patients who had achieved healing after having a minor amputation and who could walk 1 km or more before amputation had regained this walking capacity, compared with 19% of patients having a major amputation. Seventy percent of patients with an index transtibial amputation who could walk before amputation were fitted with a prosthesis, and 52% were using it regularly. Patients with diabetes who had an index major amputation had a higher mortality, an equal rate of new amputation, and a lower rehabilitation potential than did patients who had an index minor amputation.