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January 1981


Author Affiliations

Los Angeles

Arch Surg. 1981;116(1):79. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1981.01380130055012

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Amputation surgery is the most ignored, poorly performed, and least appreciated of all operations used to manage advanced ischemia of the lower extremity. Yet with more than 30,000 amputations being performed each year in the United States alone, the magnitude of the problem, both from a medical as well as a socioeconomic perspective, must command our attention.

A properly performed amputation cannot only be life-saving to the patient, but may often be a better therapeutic alternative than an ill-conceived, valiant, but often futile attempt at vascular reconstruction that is doomed to fail for lack of adequate recipient vessels to accommodate a distal extremity bypass. A properly performed amputation should have as a major objective patient rehabilitation with ambulation on a modern prosthetic device. To achieve this, proper amputation level selection, an expertly performed operation, strong input from physical medicine, and optimum fitting from a skilled prosthetist will lead to the

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