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Journal Article


Ateşalp AS, Erler K, Gür E, Solakoglu C. J. Trauma 1999; 47(4): 724-727.


Gülhane Military Medical Academy, Department of Orthopaedics, Etlik, Ankara, Turkey.


(Copyright © 1999, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins)






BACKGROUND: Antipersonnel land mines are designed to maim by mutilating the lower extremities, and these injuries are at higher risk for infection than injuries from other weapon systems. METHODS: The results of 474 unilateral traumatic below-knee amputations as a result of land-mine injuries were reviewed. If the delay in evacuation between the injury and arrival to the battle field hospital was less than 6 hours, 392 amputation stumps (group I) were closed primarily after meticulous debridement. Open amputation was performed after debridement in the remaining 82 amputation stumps (group II), because there was a suspicion of ineffective debridement, although they were evacuated in less than 6 hours or delay was more than 6 hours. RESULTS: Eleven patients in group I (2.8%) were reoperated because of wound sepsis of the stump. Wound sepsis was not encountered in group II. A total of 87.4% of stumps in group I and 81.2% of stumps in group II had healed without a problem. No gas gangrene or tetanus was encountered in any cases. CONCLUSION: Our results reveal that primary closure may be done in traumatic below-knee amputations caused by land-mine injuries with an acceptable infection rate, if the evacuation time is less than 6 hours, and if there is meticulous debridement.

Language: en


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