Discharge destination after dysvascular lower-limb amputations

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2003 Nov;84(11):1662-8. doi: 10.1053/s0003-9993(03)00291-0.


Objective: To examine postacute care rehabilitation services use after dysvascular amputation.

Design: State-maintained hospital discharge data from the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission were analyzed.

Setting: Maryland statewide hospital discharge database.

Participants: Persons discharged from nonfederal acute care hospitals from 1986 to 1997 with a procedure code for lower-limb amputation (ICD-9-CM code 84.12-.19), excluding toe amputations. Those persons with amputations due to trauma, bone malignancy, or congenital anomalies were excluded.

Interventions: Not applicable.

Main outcome measures: Postacute care service utilization.

Results: There were 16,759 discharges with an amputation procedure over this period. The average age was 69.3+/-14.3 years, and 51.9% were men. Black persons comprised 42.4% of the sample. Diabetes was present in 42.0%, and peripheral vascular disease was noted for 66.1% of amputees. Amputations were at the foot (19.4%), transtibial (38.1%), and transfemoral (42.4%) levels. The largest proportion (40.6%) of patients was discharged directly home after acute care, 37.4% went to a nursing home, 9.2% went home with home care, and 9.6% were discharged to an inpatient rehabilitation unit. From 1986 to 1997, there were downward trends in the rate of discharges directly home and corresponding upward trends in nursing home and inpatient rehabilitation dispositions.

Conclusions: Inpatient rehabilitation use is infrequent after dysvascular amputation. Prospective studies are necessary to examine outcomes for persons receiving rehabilitation services in different care settings to define the optimal rehabilitation venue for functional restoration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Amputation, Surgical / rehabilitation*
  • Artificial Limbs
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health
  • Leg
  • Male
  • Maryland
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Discharge / statistics & numerical data*
  • Peripheral Vascular Diseases / surgery*
  • Rehabilitation Centers