Improved wound healing in transtibial amputees receiving supplementary nutrition
The objective of this prospective study of matched controls was to find out whether supplementary nutrition would improve wound healing and decrease mortality in patients undergoing transtibial amputation for occlusive arterial disease. The nutritional status of 32 consecutive transtibial amputees was assessed and 28 were classified as malnourished. Supplementary nutrition was given reaching an average intake of 2098 kcal/day for a total of 11 days. In 24 patients, at least 5 days of preoperative supplementary nutrition were given, followed by postoperative treatment for a total of 11 days. Four patients who had an immediate operation were given only postoperative treatment, and 4 were excluded. The controls were 32 amputees in another hospital and matching procedures were carried out with corrections for diabetes, sex, age, smoking habits, previous vascular surgery and living conditions before amputation. Healing, including those healed before death in both groups, occurred in 26 of the nutrition group compared to 13 in the control group, which was statistically significant. Nine patients died within 6 months in the nutrition group compared to 14 of the controls (not significant). Malnutrition was present in nearly 90% of transtibial amputees and supplementary nutrition improved healing, but not mortality.
- ISSN: 0341-2695