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December 1973

The Boston Interhospital Amputation StudyExperience With a Community Service in Immediate Postoperative Amputation Prosthetic Fitting

Author Affiliations

CP, Boston
From the Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School; and the departments of orthopedic surgery, Harvard and Tufts Medical Schools, Boston.

Arch Surg. 1973;107(6):861-865. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1973.01350240031010

The immediate postamputation plaster prosthesis was supplied as a central community service in a large metropolitan area in 75 lower-extremity amputations. The overall healing rate was 90%. Half the patients were ready for discharge in four weeks or less; 85% eventually walked with a prosthesis. Although this record is satisfactory, the spread of responsibility for the 75 amputations among 53 different surgeons forced the conclusion that, because of difficulties in communication, a central service of this type was not practical in that community as now constituted. Where continuity of the whole patient care team could be established, the value of the immediate postamputation plaster was confirmed. Experience with various types of going-home prostheses emphasized the need in this and other communities for facilities to enable safe provision of early, total-contact prostheses.