April 1973

Surgeons and Amputations-Reply

Arch Surg. 1973;106(4):611. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1973.01350160223042

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To the Editor.—Dr. Miller stresses that optimal care is best provided by those with appropriate training, interest, and experience.

Experience implies an evaluation of the long-term results of one's treatment. That is best obtained by following up the patient in the Amputee Clinic.

The surgeon who sees the difficulties in prosthetic fitting and training arising from insensate or split-thickness grafts on weight-bearing surfaces; skin donor sites below the umbilicus; wide, irregular, poorly located or adherent scars; bone spurs or sharp edges; entrapped nerves; or an overly long stump won't make those surgical errors again. If he knows only that the surgical wound healed and did not need to be revised, he may never know the lifelong problems the patient suffered.

My plea is for surgeons to learn the importance of proper amputation surgery and aftercare, and to evaluate their results by attending Amputee Clinics.

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