Background. Above-knee amputation (AKA) is a common complication in diabetics, mostly after one or more lower level amputations (LEAs) have been done. The aim of this study was to identify risk factors for AKAs among diabetics. Methods. We abstracted 1,800 medical records of hospitalizations for LEA. Kaplan's comorbidity classification was used to rank disease severity. We used both univariate and multivariate models to identify risk factors for AKA. Results. Of the 1,043 diabetic amputees in this study, 22% had AKA. Variables associated with AKA were locomotor impairment, severe anemia, history of lower extremity bypass surgery, body mass index (BMI) <20 kg/m2, female sex, cerebrovascular disease, cardiovascular disease, and SGOT >40 U/L. Conclusions. Most of these risk factors represent end-stage processes and do not have good treatment alternatives. Perhaps one of the practical applications of these data is not to describe risk of proximal amputations but instead to look more closely at candidates who should be considered for distal procedures.
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