Minor Amputation in Adults with Diabetes May Pose Greater Risks

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A study compared medium-term outcomes between comparable minor and major amputations in adults with diabetes and addressed six-month readmissions, reamputations, and complications.

Researchers used data from the 2016-2017 National Readmissions Database to construct a representative cohort of 15,581 adults with diabetes with lower-limb amputations. Patients were categorized by level of index amputation (major/minor), and propensity score matched to compare outcomes in candidates for either level of amputation. Readmission and reamputations were assessed at one, three, and six months following index amputation.

In the six months following index amputation, the study found that large proportions of patients were readmitted (n=7,597, or 48.8 percent) or had reamputations (n=1,990, or 12.8 percent). Patients with minor amputations had greater odds of readmission, reamputation, and more proximal reamputation. In addition, they also had increased risk of readmission for post-operative infection or sepsis.

The study concluded that patients should be counseled about the higher risk for reamputation, readmission, and infection with minor amputations.

The study, "Minor vs. Major Leg Amputation in Adults with Diabetes: Six-Month Readmissions, Reamputations, and Complications," was published in Science Direct.