People considering partial foot amputation surgery now have access to a free resource created by La Trobe University to help them make an informed decision in partnership with healthcare professionals.
A research team led by La Trobe prosthetics expert Associate Professor Michael Dillon launched Amputation Decision Aid - a collection of freely available resources for patients with peripheral arterial disease, and their healthcare professionals, as they decide on partial foot amputation as a treatment.
In Australia, there are more than 13,000 amputations are performed every year because of complications from illnesses. The majority or people have toes or their forefoot removed, with partial foot amputation typically affecting middle aged and older people with diabetes and peripheral arterial disease.
But Associate Professor Dillon said many patients were poorly informed about the surgery, the likely outcomes, as well as the potential for complications.
“Through our interviews for this project, we found most patients facing the prospect of partial foot amputation worry whether they’ll walk again, unaware of the high rates of complications, such as delayed wound healing, the need for further amputation in the future.”
Dr Dillon said choosing partial
amputation was a life-changing decision for patients and their families. “We
want to ensure people can have a meaningful conversation with their healthcare
provider and receive accurate and unbiased information about treatment options,
likely outcomes, and risks. We want them to be supported to make truly informed
decisions about amputation surgery.”