A five-year audit of lower limb amputations below the knee and rehabilitation outcomes: the Durban experience
Introduction: Lower limb amputation (LLA) due to diabetes mellitus (DM) is a growing epidemic worldwide.
Objectives: To determine the prevalence of LLAs at Addington Hospital from 2010 to 2014 and to explore the rehabilitation outcomes of amputees.
Design and setting: A retrospective chart review of LLAs below the knee was undertaken at Addington Hospital.
Subjects: Patients who underwent LLAs were filtered from theatre registers.
Methodology: A data collection sheet included demographic profile, diabetic status, level of amputation, limb orientation and rehabilitation outcomes.
Outcome measures: Study endpoints were prevalence, compliance and rehabilitation outcomes.
Results: From 2010 to 2014, 767 LLAs in 667 patients were identified. Mean age was 59 (13.2) years. M:F ratio was 1:1. Of these, 354 patients (53.1%) had DM. Level of amputation was below-knee 57%, trans-metatarsal 12.4% and toectomy 30.6%. Only 116 patients (17.4%) were referred for physiotherapy, of whom 95 (81.9%) attended. Median frequency of physiotherapy visits was five and four for diabetic and non-diabetic amputees respectively. Mobility after rehabilitation was with a walking frame (49%), crutches (32%), prosthesis and crutches (8%), wheelchair-bound (9%) and independent gait (1%).
Conclusion: Over half of amputations were associated with DM. The gender incidence was similar. Referral to physiotherapy and adherence thereto was poor.
The full article is available at https://doi.org/10.1080/16089677.2018.1553378