Does limb-salvage surgery offer patients better quality of life and functional capacity than amputation?

Farbod Malek, Jeremy S. Somerson, Shannon Mitchel, Ronald P. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Introduction Patients with aggressive lower extremity musculoskeletal tumors may be candidates for either above-knee amputation or limb-salvage surgery. However, the subjective and objective benefits of limb-salvage surgery compared with amputation are not fully clear. Questions/Purposes We therefore compared functional status and quality of life for patients treated with aboveknee amputation versus limb-salvage surgery. Methods We reviewed 20 of 51 patients aged 15 years and older treated with above-knee amputation or limbsalvage surgery for aggressive musculoskeletal tumors around the knee between 1994 and 2004 as a retrospective cohort study. At last followup we obtained the Physiological Cost Index, the Reintegration to Normal Living Index, SF-36, and the Toronto Extremity Salvage Score questionnaires. The minimum followup was 12 months (median, 56 months; range, 12-108 months). Results Compared with patients having above-knee amputation, patients undergoing limb-salvage surgery had superior Physiological Cost Index scores and Reintegration to Normal Living Index. The Toronto Extremity Salvage scores and SF-36 scores were similar in the two groups. Conclusion These data suggest that limb-salvage surgery offers better gait efficiency and return to normal living compared with above-knee amputation, but does not improve the patient's perception of quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2000-2006
Number of pages7
JournalClinical orthopaedics and related research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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