We conducted a review of 450 single lower-limb amputations performed in our hospital in Bangladesh between July 1982 and June 1987. The incidence of amputation in the specific area of 1000000 inhabitants covered by the hospital was 0.75/10(3) per year. The indications for amputation were: limb ischemia in 366 patients (81%), traumatic crush injury in 45 (10%), diabetes-associated complications in 20 (5%), severe limb infection in 10 (2%), and neoplasm growth in 10 (2%). The ratio of above-knee (AK) to below-knee (BK) amputation was 1:65, and 36 patients (8%) required reamputation, 22 of whom had undergone BK amputation previously. Thus, the number of patients with a final amputation at AK level was 302 (67%). The operative mortality was 21% and the uncomplicated primary wound healing rate was 89% within the survivors. Among the 355 patients who survived the amputation, 265 (75%) were given a prosthesis, 50 (14%) refused a prosthesis, and the remaining 40 (11%) were unfit for a prosthesis. Rehabilitation was successful in 44% of the AK and 86% of the BK amputees. In conclusion, when amputation is inevitable, maximum consideration should be given to the type of surgery performed to avoid rehabilitation failure.