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Postoperative management of transtibial amputations in VA hospitals.

Choudhury SR, Reiber GE, Pecoraro JA, Czerniecki JM, Smith DG, Sangeorzan BJ. Postoperative management of transtibial amputations in VA hospitals. Journal of rehabilitation research and development. 2001 May 1; 38(3):293-8.

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Abstract:

Rigid plaster dressings and immediate postoperative prostheses (IPOP) in patients undergoing transtibial amputations have been reported to reduce pain and healing time, prevent knee flexion contractures, and expedite early ambulation compared to soft dressings. Yet, despite the reported benefits, surgical adoption of (conventional) rigid dressings and IPOP has been inconsistent. The purpose of this study was to determine the current postoperative transtibial amputation dressing practices in VA hospitals. A six-item questionnaire was sent to 134 surgeons at the 117 VA hospitals where transtibial amputations were performed in fiscal year 1999. Responses were received from 83% of the surgeons. During the 1999 study year, surgeons performing transtibial amputations used soft dressings on 67% of patients, conventional rigid dressings with no intent to apply a foot attachment on 14% of patients, removable rigid dressings on 14% of patients, and IPOP (almost exclusively without a foot) on 5% of patients. The application of a rigid dressing or IPOP did not correlate well with the total number of transtibial amputations performed by the surgeon, hospital bed size, or academic affiliation.





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