Between 1969 and 1981, 61 patients with 85 popliteal vascular injuries were seen. In the nine patients who required amputation, common risk factors included (1) extensive time delays (greater than 36 hours) between injury and repair, (2) associated bone and soft-tissue injuries leading to postoperative wound infection. amd (3) early occlusion of popliteal artery repair or delay in performance of fasciotomy. The low amputation rate in patients without operative delay or associated bone and soft-tissue injuries (2/54 = 3.7%) was attributed to the careful application of standard vascular surgery techniques in combination with early use of leg fasciotomy when indicated. Polytetrafluoroethylene grafts as substitute vascular conduits in the popliteal artery have an excellent patency rate and seem to be an acceptable prosthesis when segmental resection of the artery is necessary.