Knowledge and attitude of patients undergoing lower extremity amputation at RK Khan Hospital, Chatsworth

Keywords: Amputation, Indication, Knowledge, Attitude, Lower extremities


Background: Amputation is one of the oldest and most commonly performed surgical procedures.

Objective: To review the knowledge and attitude of patients undergoing lower extremity amputations and describe the associated causative factors.

Methodology: A questionnaire-based prospective study assessing patients either preoperatively or immediately postoperatively regarding their knowledge and attitudes toward lower extremity amputation was conducted between November 2016 and April 2017. Extracted data was captured into an Excel spreadsheet and imported into SPSS for statistical analysis.

Results: Sixty-three amputations were performed with males accounting for 56% of the study population. The majority were in the age group of 61–70 years (33%). The commonest indication for amputation was complication of diabetes mellitus or diabetes foot sepsis (65%). Below-knee amputation (BKA) was the most frequently performed procedure and accounted for 56% of all amputations. Seventy per cent of the participants had formal education and 60% knew that their condition could lead to an amputation, but only approximately 10% visited the foot clinic before their major amputation despite the service being available at RK Khan Hospital. Smoking was the commonest habit associated with amputation.

Conclusion: Complications of diabetic mellitus are the most common indication for lower extremity amputation. A high percentage of patients knew their co-morbid condition could lead to limb loss but failed to seek medical assistance until late in their disease process.

Author Biographies

B Olotu, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Department of General Surgery, Nelson R Mandela Medical School, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

F Anderson, Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital

Department of Hepato-Biliary Surgery, Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital, South Africa

How to Cite
Olotu, B., & Anderson, F. (2019). Knowledge and attitude of patients undergoing lower extremity amputation at RK Khan Hospital, Chatsworth. South African Journal of Surgery, 57(4), 42. Retrieved from
Online Articles