Rates and timing of subsequent amputation after initial minor amputation

Jonathan H. Lin, Sun Young Jeon, Patrick S. Romano, Misty D. Humphries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: Studies evaluating major amputation after initial minor amputation are few with rates of subsequent major amputation ranging from 14% to 35% with limited understanding of associated comorbidities and time to limb loss. The aim of this study is to determine the major amputation rates for patients who had already undergone an initial minor amputation and determine which factors are associated with the need for subsequent major amputation. Methods: Using statewide data between 2005 and 2013, patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD), diabetes mellitus (DM), and combined PAD/DM who had a lower extremity ulcer and who had also undergone a minor amputation were identified. These patients were evaluated for the rate of subsequent major amputation and competing risk Cox proportional hazards modeling was used to study which factors were associated with the risk of subsequent limb loss. Results: The cohort consisted of 11,597 patients (DM, n = 4254; PAD, n = 2142; PAD/DM, n = 5201) with lower extremity ulcers who underwent an initial minor amputation. The rate of any subsequent amputation was highest in patients with PAD/DM (23% vs DM = 17%, PAD = 17%; P = not statistically significant). The rate of subsequent minor amputation was 16% in the PAD/DM versus 15.2% in PAD and 12.2% in patients with DM (P <.001). Patients with PAD/DM had the highest rate of subsequent major amputation (6.3% vs DM = 5.2%, PAD = 2.1%; P <.001). There was no statistically significant difference in the median time to major amputation among the three groups (PAD/DM, 13 months; DM, 14 months; PAD, 8.6 months; P = NS). Patients who were revascularized before a repeat minor amputation had a decreased risk of a major amputation compared with those who were intervened on after a repeat minor amputation (hazard ratio, 0.002; 95% confidence interval, 0-0.22). Patients treated completely in the outpatient setting were also less likely to undergo subsequent major amputation (hazard ratio, 0.7; 95% confidence interval, 0.5-0.98) compared with those who required hospitalization or presented to the emergency room. Conclusions: Patients with ulcers and combined PAD and DM have a higher risk for secondary major and minor amputation than patients with either disease alone with half of the limb loss occurring at approximately 1 year after the initial minor amputation. Additionally, early diagnosis and appropriate referral may result in decreased limb loss for these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of vascular surgery
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020


  • Amputation
  • Diabetes
  • Peripheral artery disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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