Original Research|Articles in Press

Reulceration and Reoperation Incidence After Isolated Partial Fifth Ray Amputations: A Multicenter Study

Published:August 20, 2021DOI:


      Ulceration or reulceration is a common complication following partial or total fifth ray amputations. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence of reulceration following partial fifth ray amputations. This was a multicenter review of 117 consecutive limbs that underwent partial fifth ray amputations at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centers. Procedures were performed at various levels along the fifth metatarsal. Incidence of postoperative ulceration was evaluated on the ipsilateral foot. We hypothesized there would be an association between location of resection and development of reulceration. Seventy-one of 117 patients (60.7%) experienced repeat ulceration following a partial fifth ray amputation. Median follow-up time was 19 months. There was no statistical difference based on location of amputation (proximal, middle, distal, isolated base) with regards to reulceration (p = .166), further amputation (p = .271), transmetatarsal amputation (p = .160), or below knee amputation (p = .769). There was statistical significance in the follow up time between study sites (p = .013), fifth ray amputation reoperation rate between study sites (p = .001), and reulceration rates between study sites (p = .017). Partial fifth ray amputations can be a good initial salvage procedure to clear infection and prolong bipedal ambulatory status. The results of the present study put forward that there is not an association between location of amputations of the fifth ray and development of reulceration, transfer lesions or more proximal amputations.

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