The current epidemiological situation with regard to lower-limb amputations in southern Finland was analysed for the year 1989. Lower-limb amputations were performed on 268 patients. The amputation rate was 22.0 per 100,000 inhabitants, and the mean age of amputees was 70 years. Peripheral vascular disease was the main reason for amputation (79%). The most common level of amputation was above-knee (49%) followed by below-knee (29%). Two thirds (64%) of the patients lived over one year, and half (53%) over two years after the amputation. In the group of patients undergoing unilateral amputation and surviving over two months, 26% of the above-knee and 63% of the below-knee amputation patients received a prosthesis. The (average) time lag between surgery and fitting the prosthesis was 97 days. Incidence and mortality were decreased after 1985. The rate of prosthesis fitting was still low but the time lag between surgery and prosthetic fitting had decreased.