University of Washington

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

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Defining successful mobility after dysvascular amputation


Norvell DC, Turner AP, Williams RM, Hakimi KN, Czerniecki JM



Publication Info:

Journal of Vascular Surgery, 54(2):412-419


BACKGROUND: Information about longer-term functional outcomes following lower extremity amputation for peripheral vascular disease and diabetes remains limited. This study examined factors associated with mobility success during the first year following amputation.
METHODS: Prospective cohort study of 87 amputees experiencing a first major unilateral amputation surgery. Seventy-five (86%) participants completed 12-month follow-up interview.
RESULTS: Twenty-eight subjects (37%) achieved mobility success, defined as returning to or exceeding a baseline level of mobility on the locomotor capability index (LCI-5). Forty-three subjects (57%) were satisfied with their mobility. Individuals who were 65 years of age and older (risk difference [RD] = -0.52; 95% confidence interval [CI]: -0.75, -0.29), reported a current alcohol use disorder (RD = -0.37; 95% CI: -0.48, -0.26), had a history of hypertension (RD = -0.23; 95% CI: -0.43, -0.03) or treatment for anxiety or depression (RD = -0.39; 95% CI: -0.50, -0.28) were less likely to achieve mobility success. Mobility success was associated with mobility satisfaction (RD = 0.36; 95% CI: 0.20, 0.53) and satisfaction with life (RD = 0.28; 95% CI: 0.06, 0.50). Although higher absolute mobility at 12 months was also associated with mobility satisfaction and overall life satisfaction, 50% of individuals who achieved success with low to moderate 12-month mobility function reported they were satisfied with their mobility.
CONCLUSION: Defining success after amputation in relation to an individual's specific mobility prior to the development of limb impairment which led to amputation provides a useful, patient-centered measure that takes other aspects of health, function, and impairment into account.

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