Skin Problems in an Amputee Clinic

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To document the type and frequency of individual residual limb skin problems among patients using a lower extremity prosthesis, including the suggested etiology and management of each type of skin problem.


This is a 6-yr retrospective chart review of skin lesions diagnosed in patients examined in an outpatient amputee clinic at a regional, referral rehabilitation hospital in Ottawa, Canada. Skin lesions were included if they were on a lower extremity residual limb for a patient who functionally used a prosthesis. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze data.


A total of 528 skin problems were documented in 337 lower extremity residual limbs. Ulcers, irritations, inclusion cysts, calluses, and verrucous hyperplasia were the five most common skin problems representing 79.5% of all documented skin disorders.


This study demonstrated that a wide variety of dermatologic conditions occurred frequently in the lower extremity amputee who functionally used a prosthesis. Five types of skin problems accounted for nearly 80% of the skin lesions identified. Future studies are required to evaluate prevention and management of the most frequent skin problems.

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