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April 1984

Guillotine Amputation in the Treatment of Nonsalvageable Lower-Extremity Infections

Author Affiliations

From the Surgical Service, Veterans Administration Medical Center, and the Department of Surgery, University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, Tucson.

Arch Surg. 1984;119(4):450-453. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1984.01390160080016

• Primary definitive amputation performed in the presence of distal-extremity infection carries the risk of wound infection and additional limb loss. We reviewed 75 below-knee amputations performed for nonsalvageable foot infections. Patients were retrospectively divided into two groups: group 1 underwent open ankle guillotine amputation followed by definitive below-knee amputation, and group 2 underwent primary definitive below-knee amputation. In group 1, 97% of patients achieved primary healing after revision, and none required amputation at a higher level. In group 2, 78% of patients achieved primary healing, but 11% required revision of the amputation to the above-knee level. These data supported the following conclusion: guillotine ankle amputation followed by below-knee amputation for the nonsalvageable, infected lower extremity is associated with a significantly lower amputation failure rate than primary definitive amputation.

(Arch Surg 1984;119:450-453)