J Am Acad Orthop Surg, Vol 18, No 4, April 2010
Vincent Y. Ng, MD and Gregory C. Berlet, MD Multiple clinical pathways lead to lower extremity amputation, including trauma, dysvascular disease, congenital defects, and malignancy. However, the principles of successful amputationcareful preoperative planning, coordination of a multidisciplinary team, and good surgical techniqueremain the same. Organized rehabilitation and properly selected prostheses are integral components of amputee care. In the civilian setting, amputation is usually performed as a planned therapy for an unsalvageable extremity, not as an emergency procedure. The partial loss of a lower limb often represents a major change in a persons life, but patients should be encouraged to approach amputation as the beginning of a new phase of life and not as the culmination of previous treatment failures.