Quality of life is often cited as a key influence in decisions about partial foot and transtibial amputations despite there being no studies comparing quality of life in these groups.
To compare quality of life in people with partial foot amputation or transtibial amputation secondary to peripheral vascular disease and determine factors influencing quality of life in these cohorts.
Mail-out, mail-back version of the SF-36v2 Health Survey and an adapted version of the demographic section of the Trinity Amputation and Prosthesis Experience Scales–Revised were sent to people recruited through a large metropolitan hospital.
Both the SF-36v2 mental health component summary and physical component summary scores were comparable in the partial foot amputation (n = 10) and transtibial amputation (n = 23) cohorts. A multivariate linear regression showed that age, time with diabetes and the presence of retinopathy significantly influenced either the SF-36v2 mental health component summary or physical component summary whereas amputation level did not.
Results support existing descriptive data that indicate quality of life is comparable in cohorts with partial foot and transtibial amputation.
Our results suggest that quality of life need not to be a consideration when deciding between partial foot and transtibial amputation for persons with vascular disease. Surgeons and patients may wish to focus on other considerations, such as the relative risk of ulceration and subsequent amputation, when choosing between partial foot and transtibial amputation.
The similarity in quality of life between people with partial foot and transtibial amputation helps inform difficult decisions about amputation surgery by focusing on surgery that will reduce the risk of complications and secondary amputation without fear of compromising quality of life.