Functional status of persons with diabetes-related lower-extremity amputations

E J Peters, M R Childs, R P Wunderlich, L B Harkless, D G Armstrong, L A Lavery

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OBJECTIVE: It is reasonable to predict that diabetes-related lower-extremity amputations have a detrimental impact on quality of life. However, we are unaware of any study in the medical literature describing the functional level of diabetic patients with amputations. The objective of this study was to evaluate amputations among diabetic patients and to determine the functional level of these patients with the Sickness Impact Profile (SIP).

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We enrolled 124 patients with diabetes. Case subjects (n = 35) were defined as patients who had undergone amputation of the lower-extremity, and control subjects (n = 89) were defined as patients who had not undergone amputation. Study participants received a standard history and physical examination.

RESULTS: Both the physical dimension scores (33.5 +/- 14.9 vs. 22.3 +/- 14.7, P < 0.001) and the total SIP scores (27.6 +/- 9.9 vs. 22.5 +/- 10.3, P = 0.013) were significantly higher for amputees. However, the psychosocial dimension scores were not significantly different between case and control subjects (14.9 +/- 8.9 vs. 15.2 +/- 10.0, P > 0.05). Post hoc analysis showed that the group of patients who had undergone transtibial amputation had a significantly higher total impairment score than patients who had not undergone amputation (P = 0.039). This is in contrast to patients with toe or midfoot amputations, for whom total impairment scores were not significantly higher than those for the control subjects. Interestingly, bilateral amputees did not have significantly higher scores on either SIP dimension compared with unilateral amputees.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings exemplify the detrimental physical and psychosocial health status of patients with diabetes-related lower-extremity amputation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1799-804
Number of pages6
JournalDiabetes Care
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2001


  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amputation
  • Amputees/psychology
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Diabetic Foot/surgery
  • Disabled Persons
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg
  • Male
  • Middle Aged

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