Extremitätenerhalt und Amputation nach Trauma: Entscheidungskriterien und Managementmodule

Translated title of the contribution: Limb salvage and amputation after trauma: Decision criteria and management algorithm

C. Krettek, A. Lerner, P. Giannoudis, C. Willy, C. W. Müller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The clinical decision-making process for patients with severe trauma of the extremities for primary amputation or to initiate extensive reconstructive measures for limb salvage in the best interests of the patient can be complex and difficult. The many factors influencing the decision-making process, such as local anatomical, pathomechanical, physiological, psychosocial and general factors are demonstrated and discussed. In the past, the role of scores supporting the decision-making process for amputation or limb salvage has been overestimated. In the LEAP study it could clearly be demonstrated that none of the sometimes highly complex scores could fulfill the expectations to predict successful limb salvage or the need for amputation. In this article it is shown that initiators and authors of scores achieved much higher sensitivity and specificity in the inaugural studies compared to the standardized and controlled conditions used in the LEAP study. For a long time, a lack of feeling in the feet was considered a safe and reliable criterion for amputation but the LEAP study has made a substantial contribution to demythologizing this as a lead symptom. Patients with severe trauma of the ankle or foot requiring a free flap or ankle arthrodesis have a significantly worse outcome compared to patients with a below knee amputation. Taking all these influencing factors into consideration, a comprehensive algorithm is presented that facilitates, strengthens and standardizes decision-making for amputation or limb salvage. This algorithm consists of four modules: 1) decision-making, 2) emergency treatment, 3) definitive treatment and 4) fine tuning. In the decision-making module not only local and general injury severity are addressed but the expected result, the general condition, comorbidities, compliance and the will of the patient are also included.

Translated title of the contributionLimb salvage and amputation after trauma: Decision criteria and management algorithm
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)358-373
Number of pages16
JournalDer Unfallchirurg
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


  • Amputation
  • Decision-making
  • Extremities
  • Limb salvage
  • Polytrauma
  • Scores


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