Orient Journal of Medicine

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Epidemiology and pattern of limb amputations at a private hospital in Owerri, Imo State, South-East Nigeria

Solomon N Ukibe, Nkiruka R Ukibe, Alphonsus C Obi-Okaro, Jervas Ekezie, Chukwubike U Okeke, Chidinma T Onyeanusi


Background: Amputation of either the upper or lower extremities in man presents a special public health challenge due to the problems associated with patients’  rehabilitation.
Objective: To determine the epidemiology and pattern of limb amputations in a private medical setting in Owerri, Imo State.
Methodology: This was a 5-year retrospective epidemiological study of a total of 251patients who had amputations between 2006 and 2010.
Results: Out of 251 patients studied, 166 (66.14%) were males while 85 (38.86%) were females. Lower limb amputations (LLA) occurred more frequently (189) than upper limb amputations (ULA) (62) in the ratio of 3:1. The age group with the  highest rate of amputation (LLA) in both sexes was 41-60 years (64%). Trauma was the most common reason for upper limb amputations (75.8%), while peripheral  vascular disease was the most frequent indication for lower limb amputation  (49.8%). The occupational group with the highest rate of amputation was the commercial motor cyclists (33.9%), followed by commercial drivers (21.5%). The pattern of amputation showed that digits/toes amputations were the most frequent procedures (35.1%) followed by below knee/below elbow amputations (27.2%).
Conclusion: Amputations were more in the males of the productive age range, and most of them were in the lower limbs. Trauma was the most frequent indication for limb amputations. This has a far-reaching effect on family and state economy.

Keywords: Diabetes mellitus, trauma, peripheral, vascular disease

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