Consequences of non-vascular trans-femoral amputation: a survey of quality of life, prosthetic use and problems

Prosthet Orthot Int. 2001 Dec;25(3):186-94. doi: 10.1080/03093640108726601.


Individuals with unilateral trans-femoral amputations due to non-vascular causes were studied in a mailed survey designed to investigate health-related quality of life (HRQL), prosthetic use and problems. The Swedish SF-36 Health Survey and a structured questionnaire designed for trans-femoral amputees were used. The series consisted of 97 subjects (60 men, 37 women), aged 20 to 69 years with a mean of 22 years since the amputation. Trauma was the cause of amputation in 55%, tumour in 35% and other causes in 10%. Ninety-two (92) subjects (95%) had a prosthesis and 80 (82%) used it daily. General HRQL was significantly lower than Swedish age- and gender-matched norms in all dimensions as measured by SF-36. Most frequently reported problems that had led to reduction in quality of life were heat/sweating in the prosthetic socket (72%), sores/skin irritation from the socket (62%), inability to walk in woods and fields (61%) and inability to walk quickly (59%). Close to half were troubled by stump pain (51%), phantom limb pain (48%), back pain (47%) and pain in the other leg (46%). One fourth considered themselves to have a poor or extremely poor overall situation. Transfemoral amputation, due to non-vascular causes, has an evident impact on quality of life and there are considerable problems related to the amputation and the prosthesis. Efforts to improve the physical and the psychological well-being for this group, with a long life expectancy, are needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Amputation / methods*
  • Amputation / rehabilitation*
  • Artificial Limbs
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Femur / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / surgery
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Prosthesis Fitting
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden