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Amputation

What Are the Complications of Amputation?

09/21/2006

Question:

Can you please tell me what the complications are with a right leg amputation? Also, what is the death rate if an amputation goes wrong?

Answer:

Any amputation carries potential risks for infection, bleeding, and death in the short term.  Longer term complications include non-healing wounds, phantom pain syndrome, neuroma formation, and death.

The risk of death soon after an amputation is approximately 5-15% depending on the level of amputation, with the higher rates occurring after an above-knee amputation. The risk of death long term is approximately 50% at 3 years due to other medical conditions that a patient already has.

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Response by:

Jean  E Starr, MD Jean E Starr, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Vascular Surgery
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University