Rehabilitation of the geriatric vascular amputee patient: A population-based study

Dade D. Fletcher, Karen L. Andrews, Matthew A. Butters, Steven J. Jacobsen, Charles M. Rowland, John W. Hallett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine the rate of successful prosthetic fitting in geriatric vascular amputees in the community and to determine predictors of successful fit. Design: Epidemiologic survey. Setting: General community, Olmsted County, Minnesota. Patients: All Olmsted County residents more than 65 years old who had a major lower extremity amputation (below knee amputation [BKA] or higher) for peripheral vascular disease between 1974-1995, of whom 199 were identified. Median age at amputation was 79.7 years with a median survival of 1.5 years. Intervention: A retrospective chart review. Main Outcome Measure: Successful prosthetic fit. Results: Amputation levels were: 64% BKA, 4.5% knee disarticulation, 31% above knee amputation (AKA), and 0.5% hip disarticulation. Only 36% of the population was successfully fitted, compared with 74% of patients referred to the Amputee Clinic. Major reasons for not being fitted included death, reamputation, cerebrovascular disease, and cognitive deficits. Increased age (p < .001), cerebrovascular disease (p < .001), dementia (p = .002), and AKA (p < .001) were associated with failure to fit. Conclusion: The high probability of successful prosthetic fitting reported among referral practices cannot be generalized to unselected elderly individuals. However, selected individuals can successfully be fitted with a prosthesis; knowledge of predictors of prosthetic fitting may facilitate setting of realistic goals during presurgical counseling in this age group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)776-779
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001


  • Amputees
  • Artificial limbs
  • Geriatrics
  • Prostheses and implants
  • Rehabilitation
  • Treatment outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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