Modifications of the pirogoff amputation technique in adults: A retrospective analysis of 123 cases

J Orthop. 2019 Nov 1:18:5-12. doi: 10.1016/j.jor.2019.10.008. eCollection 2020 Mar-Apr.


Background: The Pirogoff amputation (1854) was initially developed to provide full-weight-bearing stumps and therefore allow a short ambulation without prosthesis. Modifications of the original technique including Boyd (1939) and the "Modified Pirogoff" were developed, which further reduced complications and improved the outcome. However, the current evidence regarding the techniques is scarce. The functional outcome, survivorship and complication rates are unknown. It was the purpose of this study to expand the knowledge with a retrospective case series and ultimately summarize and analyze the data with a systematic review.

Methods: A retrospective study of the Boyd procedures from our institution between 1999 and 2018 was performed. Outcome was determined based on the PLUS-M Score (Prosthetic Limb Users Survey of Mobility). Survivorship (absence of more proximal amputation), postoperative leg-length discrepancy, time to early fusion and time to mobilization were also evaluated. Finally, in the second part of the study, the results were integrated in a systematic review, which followed the Preferred Reporting Items of Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis (PRISMA) guidelines. The quality of all the studies were then assessed using the Joanna Briggs Institute Critical Appraisal Checklist (JBI CAC).

Results: A total of 123 procedures including 115 patients, with an average follow-up of 45 months (range, 10-300 months) could be included. A very good or good function could be achieved in 85 (69%) patients. The mean survivorship was 82.1% (range 46%-100%). In four studies, including our series, all patients remained with a functional stump at the latest follow-up. The calculated average leg-length discrepancy was 2.5 cm.

Conclusion: The "Modified Pirogoff" and Boyd amputation techniques can achieve favourable long-term functional outcome in cases of irreparable foot conditions such as osteomyelitis or trauma. Patency of the posterior tibial artery is an indispensable condition to elect for these surgical techniques. Presence of neuropathy does not preclude this amputation level. With proper patient selection, a maximal survivorship of the stump with treatable minor complications can be achieved.Level of Evidence: IV.

Keywords: Amputation; Boyd; Pirogoff; Spitzy-pirogoff; Tibiocalcalneal arthrodesis.