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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 8-12

Major extremity amputations: Indications and post surgery challenges in a Nigeria tertiary institution

Department of Surgery, Federal Medical Centre, Birnin Kebbi, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Oni Nasiru Salawu
Department of Surgery, Federal Medical Centre, Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/smj.smj_49_17

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Background: Amputation is an ancient procedure which has been practiced for centuries for a variety of indications. The goal of the procedure is to eliminate potential threat to the patient while producing a viable stump for easy rehabilitation. Objective: To identify the indications, postoperative complications and peculiarities of patients with amputation in a native African population. Materials and Methods: This was a prospective study carried out on all consenting patients who had extremity amputation at Federal Medical Centre, Birnin Kebbi, from June 2015 to May 2016. Results: During the study period, there were 47 amputations in 47 patients (34 males and 13 females). The mean age of the patients was 35.73 ± 19.43 years. The most common indication for amputation was traditional bone setter's (TBS) gangrene accounting for 44.7% of cases, followed by diabetic foot syndrome at 25.5%. Camel bites accounted for 6.4% of the amputations. The most common type of amputation was below-knee amputation (46.8%), followed by above-knee amputation (25.5%). Five (10.7%) patients had surgical site infection and only 2.1% of the patients developed phantom limb sensation. None of these patients was fitted with a prosthesis due to the high cost or nonavailability of the prosthesis. Conclusion: Complications of TBS intervention were the leading cause of amputation in this study. Gangrene following camel bites was also found to be a peculiar cause for amputation in this environment. Appropriate public health interventions are necessary to reduce the incidence of preventable gangrene. Provision of prosthesis with adequate technical support is essential to proper rehabilitation of the amputees.

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