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Predictors of Mortality and Revision Following Digital Amputation for Infection and Necrosis

Published:March 15, 2023DOI:


      Digital amputation is a commonly performed procedure for infection and necrosis in patients with diabetes, peripheral vascular disease (PVD), and on dialysis. There is a lack of data regarding prognosis for revision amputation and mortality following digital amputation in these patients.


      All digital amputations over 10-year period (2008–2018) at a single center were reviewed. There were 484 amputations in 360 patients, among which 358 were performed for trauma (reference sample) and 126 for infection or necrosis (sample of interest). Patient death and revision were determined from National Vital Statistics System and medical records. Propensity score matching was performed to compare groups. Data were then compared to the Social Security Administration Actuarial Life Table for 2015 to determine age-matched expected mortality.


      The 2-year revision rate was 34% for amputations performed for infection or necrosis, compared to 15% for amputations due to trauma. For amputations performed for infection or necrosis, the revision rate was 47.7% when diabetes, PVD, and dialysis were present. Among all patients with infection or necrosis (n = 104) undergoing a digital amputation, overall survival at 2, 5, and 10 years was 79.4%, 57.3%, and 17.5%, respectively, which represented a 3.2-fold increased risk of death compared to controls. (hazard ratio, 3.19; 95% confidence interval, 1.47–6.93). For amputations due to trauma, mortality was no different from that in the age-matched general population.


      Mortality and revision risk are high for patients requiring a digital amputation for infection or necrosis and are further increased with medical comorbidities. Hand surgeons should consider the prognostic implications of these data when counseling patients.

      Type of study/level of evidence

      Prognostic IV.

      Key words

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