Reulceration and Reoperation Rates After Central Ray Amputations: A Retrospective Study

Published:November 24, 2022DOI:


      Re-ulceration is a common complication following ray amputations of the foot. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence of re-ulceration following isolated and combined central ray amputations. This was a retrospective review of 55 consecutive limbs that underwent central ray amputations at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centers (WFBMC). Procedures were performed at the three central rays or a combination of central rays. Incidence of postoperative ulceration was evaluated on the ipsilateral foot. We hypothesized there would not be an association between which ray was resected and development of reulceration. 24 patients (43%) experienced repeat ulceration following a central ray amputation. Median follow up time was 17.4 months (range 4 days to 99 months). The estimated ulcer recurrence rate at 1 year was 41.8%. There was no statistical difference based on location of amputation (second, third, four rays) with regards to reulceration, further amputation, transmetatarsal amputation, or below knee amputations. However, reulceration seemed to be much quicker in those patients undergoing a third ray amputation. Like the medial and lateral rays, central ray amputations can be a good initial salvage procedure to clear devitalized tissue and prevent the spreading of infection. The results of the present study suggest that there is no detectable difference between location of central ray amputations and development of re-ulceration, more proximal amputations, or death among this cohort.

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