Operating room fitting of lower limb amputees with temporary prostheses creates notable advantages for their rehabilitation, surgeons around the nation are finding.
Current experience with the procedure, first suggested by a Polish investigator, Marian A. Weiss, MD, in 1963, was discussed by several clinicians at the recent American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons sessions in Chicago.
Advantages of immediate fitting, "which violates a lot of principles I've practiced for years," were listed by Ernest M. Burgess, MD, Seattle:
Accelerated wound healing and maturation;
Earlier ambulation, often by the second postoperative day;
Earlier regaining of proper gait and return to employment;
Earlier fitting with a permanent prosthesis.
Dr. Burgess, orthopedic consultant to the Seattle Veteran's Administration Hospital and Area Office, reported on his pilot study of the procedure with 55 patients. His current experience exceeds 70 cases.
The group studied, under VA sponsorship, ranged in age from 5