Heart & Circulation

Cochrane Vascular needs a Consumer Reviewer to comment on a review which compares if an amputation through the knee or above the knee offers better recovery and quality of life

Skills / interests: Consumer (public, patient, carer) input

Each year, thousands of people worldwide need to have their lower leg surgically removed (lower limb amputation), due to problems such as blockages in blood vessels (vascular disease), diabetes, and injury. When an amputation is planned, a surgeon needs to decide how high up the leg to go and therefore how much leg to leave behind. This decision is a balance between leaving as much of the leg as possible to improve a person’s ability to walk with an artificial leg (prosthesis) and removing anything which will not survive or go on to heal. If possible, a surgeon will prefer to preserve the knee as having a working knee of their own ensures a person’s best chance of walking. In some cases, this is not possible and currently, almost all people in this situation will have an amputation in the middle of the thigh (above the knee). There is, however, another option as amputation can be performed through the knee joint itself. It is unclear whether an amputation through the knee may be a better operation, allowing improved recovery, a greater likelihood of being able to walk with an artificial leg and a better quality of life or whether it is associated with worse outcomes due to wound healing failure and further surgery being required. The aim of this review was to look at the best available evidence to see how these operations compare. If you have personal or carer experience of this condition your comments would be very useful. Systematic review methodology expertise is not needed. If you are interested, we will send you the review and a comments checklist.  This task will take between two to three hours.

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