From the editors' desk| Volume 98, ISSUE 9, P1900-1902, September 2017

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While Mortality Rates Differ After Dysvascular Partial Foot and Transtibial Amputation, Should They Influence the Choice of Amputation Level?

Published:April 24, 2017DOI:


      Although there is strong evidence to show that the risk of dying after transtibial amputation is higher than partial foot amputation, we are concerned by the implication that amputation level influences mortality, and that such interpretations of the evidence may be used to inform decisions about the choice of amputation level. We argue that the choice of partial foot or transtibial amputation does not influence the risk of mortality. The highest mortality rates are observed in studies with older people with more advanced systemic disease and multiple comorbidities. Studies that control for the confounding influence of these factors have shown no differences in mortality rates by amputation level. These insights have important implications in terms of how we help inform difficult decisions about amputation at either the partial foot or transtibial level, given a more thoughtful interpretation of the published mortality rates.

      Graphical abstract


      List of abbreviations:

      PFA (partial foot amputation), RR (relative risk), TTA (transtibial amputation)
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