Perioperative care

A major amputation will put the remaining foot at great risk of ulceration.

The heel of the surviving foot should be protected on the operating table and postoperatively. One of our surgeons always wrapped several layers of thick cotton wadding (Gamgee, Robinson) around the heel of the contralateral foot to avoid pressure on the heel during the amputation.

Drains are advisable for amputations, as blood clots are a good culture medium for bacteria.

A rigid dressing applied in below-knee amputations from the end of the stump to the mid-thigh, in full extension, will reduce oedema, protect the wound and limb against trauma, and prevent knee contractures during the first 3 postoperative weeks.

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