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June 1958

Amputations of the Lower Extremity for Arteriosclerosis

Author Affiliations

Louisville, Ky.
From the Department of Surgery, University of Louisville School of Medicine, and the Veterans' Administration Hospital, Louisville, Ky.

AMA Arch Surg. 1958;76(6):992-996. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1958.01280240150025

This paper is a review of the amputations of the lower extremity done at the Louisville Veterans' Administration Hospital from its opening, in April, 1946, to July, 1956, for arteriosclerosis with and without diabetes. Amputations for other disease processes are excluded.

Those patients who comprised this study were all men and were mostly in the older age groups with arteriosclerosis and adult diabetes. The last feature exists because juvenile diabetics would have been rejected from military service had they been diagnosed as diabetics at the time of their induction.

The study includes a series of 89 patients with major and minor amputations resulting from vascular insufficiency secondary to arteriosclerosis. Recently, with the advent of arterial reconstruction, each patient has been evaluated for possible arterial grafting to increase the blood supply to the affected extremity.

Forty-seven sympathectomies were done prior to amputation, without mortality and with minimum morbidity. Eight patients had