Forward-thinking surgeons are seeking input from prosthetists and other
practitioners in developing techniques that will improve functional outcomes
Surgical techniques that fail to anticipate an amputee’s functional needs
are in part to blame for a disappointing lack of improvement in prosthetic
outcomes over the last four decades. But a new generation of surgeons is
working to reverse this trend.
Prosthetic outcomes for amputees haven’t improved over the past 40 years,
according to a new study by a team from the Rochester, MN-based Mayo Clinic.
Not only that, but rates of amputation appear primed to double by 2030, the
researchers warned. In their study, published in the October issue of the
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, they predict an increase
in the rates of amputation from 28,000 to 58,000 per year over the next 27
“This is kind of a depressing thing for me,” said Karen Andrews, MD, one of
the study’s principal authors. Andrews, chair of amputee rehabilitation, had
expected the study to conclude that advances in prosthetic technology had
led to a significant improvement in outcomes.
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