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February 1973

Utilization of an Air Splint After Below-Knee Amputation

Author Affiliations

New Haven, Conn

Arch Surg. 1973;106(2):239. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1973.01350140095030

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To the Editor.—In an editorial in the Archives, "Life and Limb" (103:3, 1971) by Warren, I was reminded of those individuals who must continue their lives after a failure of revascularization procedures and below-knee amputation. Yet, not every hospital has a full-time prosthetist, nor can every surgeon now in practice return to NYU, Northwestern, or UCLA for a course in rigid dressings and early ambulation.

Rather, an alternative type rigid dressing with the similar benefits of decreased pain, quicker stump maturation, psychological stability, and earlier fitting of the definitive prosthesis can be found by using the long leg air splint originally designed for emergency stabilization of fractures. The air splint is inflated to a pressure of 25 mm Hg or until resistance is noted on oral insufflation. The valve mechanism is not different from that of a bicycle tire, though a plug method is used in some models, to

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