Unilateral lower limb loss following combat injury: Medium-term outcomes in British military amputees
ABSTRACT This is a case series of prospectively gathered data characterising the injuries, surgical treatment and outcomes of consecutive British service personnel who underwent a unilateral lower limb amputation following combat injury. Patients with primary, unilateral loss of the lower limb sustained between March 2004 and March 2010 were identified from the United Kingdom Military Trauma Registry. Patients were asked to complete a Short-Form (SF)-36 questionnaire. A total of 48 patients were identified: 21 had a trans-tibial amputation, nine had a knee disarticulation and 18 had an amputation at the trans-femoral level. The median New Injury Severity Score was 24 (mean 27.4 (9 to 75)) and the median number of procedures per residual limb was 4 (mean 5 (2 to 11)). Minimum two-year SF-36 scores were completed by 39 patients (81%) at a mean follow-up of 40 months (25 to 75). The physical component of the SF-36 varied significantly between different levels of amputation (p = 0.01). Mental component scores did not vary between amputation levels (p = 0.114). Pain (p = 0.332), use of prosthesis (p = 0.503), rate of re-admission (p = 0.228) and mobility (p = 0.087) did not vary between amputation levels. These findings illustrate the significant impact of these injuries and the considerable surgical burden associated with their treatment. Quality of life is improved with a longer residual limb, and these results support surgical attempts to maximise residual limb length. Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2013;95-B:224-9.
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- "Results from this group of patients were then compared to those of a similar group of unilateral trans-tibial amputees that has previously been published . Patients with an open tibia fracture and contralateral lower limb amputation were excluded from this comparison. "
ABSTRACT: Extremity injuries define the surgical burden of recent conflicts. Current literature is inconclusive when assessing the merits of limb salvage over amputation. The aim of this study was to determine medium term functional outcomes in military casualties undergoing limb salvage for severe open tibia fractures, and compare them to equivalent outcomes for unilateral trans-tibial amputees. Cases of severe open diaphyseal tibia fractures sustained in combat between 2006 and 2010, as described in a previously published series, were contacted. Consenting individuals conducted a brief telephone interview and were asked to complete a SF-36 questionnaire. These results were compared to a similar cohort of 18 military patients who sustained a unilateral trans-tibial amputation between 2004 and 2010. Forty-nine patients with 57 severe open tibia fractures met the inclusion criteria. Telephone follow-up and SF-36 questionnaire data was available for 30 patients (61%). The median follow-up was 4 years (49 months, IQR 39-63). Ten of the 30 patients required revision surgery, three of which involved conversion from initial fixation to a circular frame for non- or mal-union. Twenty-two of the 30 patients (73%) recovered sufficiently to complete an age-standardised basic military fitness test. The median physical component score of SF-36 in the limb salvage group was 46 (IQR 35-54) which was similar to the trans-tibial amputation cohort (p=0.3057, Mann-Whitney). Similarly there was no difference in mental component scores between the limb salvage and amputation groups (p=0.1595, Mann-Whitney). There was no significant difference in the proportion of patients in either the amputation or limb salvage group reporting pain (p=0.1157, Fisher's exact test) or with respect to SF-36 physical pain scores (p=0.5258, Mann-Whitney). This study demonstrates that medium term outcomes for military patients are similar following trans-tibial amputation or limb salvage following combat trauma. Crown Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.Injury 12/2014; 46(2). DOI:10.1016/j.injury.2014.12.004 · 2.46 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to characterise injury patterns and examine whether survival had improved over the last decade of conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan. A logistical regression model was applied to all UK casualty data from the Joint Theatre Trauma Registry. There were 2785 casualties over the 10-years. 72% of casualties from hostile action were injured by blast weapons. The extremities were the post commonly injured body region, being involved in 43% of all injuries sustained. The New Injury Severity Score that was observed to be associated with a 50% chance of survival rose every year from 38 in 2003 to 62 in 2012. The odds ratio of surviving with a Trauma and Injury Severity Score (TRISS) of 50% rose by 1.349 (95% CI = 1.265–1.442) per year. The actual TRISS value associated with a 50% chance of survival dropped every year from 35.3% in 2003 to 0.9 in 2010 and was un-calculable in 2011–12. This study confirms that the last decade of conflict has been characterised by blast wounds and injuries involving the extremities. A consistent improvement in survival over the 10 years has been demonstrated, to the point that traditional metrics for measuring improvement in trauma care have been exhausted.Combined Services Orthopaedic Society, CSOS; 09/2013
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ABSTRACT: We present eleven years of prospectively-gathered data defining the full spectrum of the United Kingdom's (UK) Naval Service (Royal Navy and Royal Marines) casualties, and characterise the injury patterns, recovery and residual functional burden from the conflicts of the last decade. The UK Military Trauma Registry was searched for all Naval Service personnel injured between March 2003 and April 2013. These records were then cross-referenced with the records of the Naval Service Medical Board of Survey (NSMBOS), which evaluates injured Naval Service personnel for medical discharge, continued service in a reduced capacity or Return to Full Duty (RTD). Population at risk data was calculated from service records. There were 277 casualties in the study period: 63 (23%) of these were fatalities. Of the 214 survivors, 63 or 29% (23% of total) were medically discharged; 24 or 11% (9% of total) were placed in a reduced fitness category with medical restrictions placed on their continued military service. A total of 127 individuals (46% of the total and 59% of survivors) RTD without any restriction. The greatest number of casualties was sustained in 2007. There was a 3% casualty risk per year of operational service for Naval Service personnel. The most common reason cited by Naval Service Medical Board of Survey (NSMBOS) for medical downgrading or discharge was injury to the lower limb, with upper limb trauma the next most frequent. This study characterises the spectrum of injuries sustained by the Naval Service during recent conflicts with a very high rate of follow-up. Extremity injuries pose the biggest challenge to reconstructive and rehabilitative services striving to maximise the functional outcomes of injured service personnel.Journal of the Royal Naval Medical Service 01/2014; 100(2):161-5.