Risk factors for unplanned readmission and stump complications after major lower extremity amputation

John Phair, Charles DeCarlo, Larry Scher, Issam Koleilat, Saadat Shariff, Evan C. Lipsitz, Karan Garg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Objective: The unplanned 30-day readmission rate is a marker of quality of patient care across many disciplines. Data regarding risk factors for unplanned readmission after major lower extremity amputation (LEA) are limited. We evaluated predictors of readmission at our institution after major LEA. Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of all patients undergoing above-knee amputation (AKA) or below-knee amputation (BKA) between November 2009 and November 2014. Patient demographic variables were collected. Predictors of unplanned 30-day readmission and stump complications were determined by multivariable logistic regression. Results: A total of 811 patients were identified (AKA, 325; BKA, 486). Of these, 739 patients were included in the final analysis after excluding 30-day decedents without readmission. The overall 30-day readmission rate was 28.8% (AKA 27.9%; BKA 29.4%; P =.730). Stump complications accounted for 28.6% of readmissions (16.5% of AKA; 35.8% of BKA; P =.004). Other common diagnoses included nonsurgical site infection (33.8%), exacerbation of congestive heart failure (7.0%), and diabetes-related complications (6.1%). Surgical intervention was performed on 61% of stump complications (35.9% of AKA readmitted with stump complications; 68.7% of BKA readmitted with stump complications). BKA stump complications were converted to AKAs in 34.1% of cases (3.2% of the total BKA). None of the AKA stump complications required a higher level of amputation (ie, hip disarticulation). Independent predictors of all 30-day readmission included coronary artery disease and end-stage renal disease. American Society of Anesthesiologists class 3 as compared with class 4 was protective. Independent predictors of 30-day readmission for stump complications included rest pain and BKA. Patients who underwent BKA, rest pain as an indication for amputation, and having an occluded bypass graft were predictors of having a stump complication requiring surgery. Conclusions: The 30-day readmission rate after major LEA is high, with wound infections accounting for a significant proportion of these readmissions. There was no difference in readmission rates based on level of amputation. Those undergoing BKA were more likely to present with stump complications requiring a surgical intervention, and often a higher level of amputation. Identification of high-risk patients may play a role in reducing postoperative readmissions and stump complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)848-856
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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