Comparison of quality of life and functionality in patients with traumatic unilateral below knee amputation and salvage surgery

Prosthet Orthot Int. 2009 Mar;33(1):17-24. doi: 10.1080/03093640802482542.


The aim of this study was to compare the functionality during daily activities and quality of life of patients with transtibial amputation vs. salvage surgery after severe lower limb trauma. Ten patients with unilateral below knee amputation and nine patients with salvage surgery after severe lower limb trauma were enrolled. Functional Ambulation Scale (FAS), Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), Short Form 36 (SF-36) Energy Expenditure Index (EEI), 6-Minute Walking Test (6MWT) and 10-Meter Walking Test (10MWT) were used for the evaluation of subjects. Patients in the salvage group were also evaluated radiologically with Graves' radiological assessment method and Freiburg ankle scoring system. All patients were classified as grade 5 according to FAS. All SF-36 subgroup values were higher in the amputation group whereas only those of general health and vitality reached statistical significance (p < 0.05). The visual analogue scale (VAS) has been used to assess the efficacy of pain management. Mean VAS scores were found to be statistically higher in the salvage group (p < 0.005). Reoperation rates were one in 10 amputee and six in nine salvage patients. Mean Freiburg ankle scores of the patients in the salvage group were 55.33 +/- 15.51 which was consistent with moderate functionality. According to Graves' radiological assessment; four patients had grade 3 degeneration, four had grade 2 and one had grade 1 degeneration in the ankle joints. Mean EEI values, 6-MWT and 10-MWT results were not significantly different between the groups (p values > 0.05). Although amputation still remains as the last resort both for patients and the physicians, our results demonstrated that reoperation rates, quality of life (general health and vitality) and pain scores were better in amputee patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Amputation, Surgical*
  • Amputees / psychology*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Exercise Test
  • Humans
  • Leg Injuries / surgery*
  • Limb Salvage*
  • Male
  • Military Personnel
  • Pain Measurement
  • Quality of Life*
  • Reoperation
  • Turkey