Notable Racial and Ethnic Disparities Persist in Lower Extremity Amputations for Critical Limb Ischemia and Infection

Sophia A. Traven, John D. Synovec, Zeke J. Walton, Lee R. Leddy, Linda I. Suleiman, Christopher E. Gross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this study is to investigate the current disparities for major lower extremity amputation in patients with critical limb ischemia (CLI) and infection. METHODS: A retrospective analysis of the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program's database for the years 2011 to 2017 was conducted. Multivariate models were used to isolate the effect of race and ethnicity on the likelihood of a below-knee or above-knee amputation (BKA and AKA, respectively) for CLI secondary to type 2 diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis, peripheral vascular disease, chronic osteomyelitis, and deep soft-tissue infections. RESULTS: For all diagnoses, blacks were 93.3%, and Hispanics were 61.9% more likely to undergo a BKA than white patients (P < 0.001). In addition, black patients had a 133.0% higher risk of an AKA than white patients (P < 0.001). Disparities were greatest with blacks undergoing surgery for CLI secondary to atherosclerosis (BKA odds ratio 2.093; AKA: odds ratio 2.625). Black patients also had an elevated risk of amputation secondary to diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, and deep soft-tissue infections (P < 0.001). DISCUSSION: This nationally representative, cohort-based study demonstrates that notable racial and ethnic disparities for lower extremity amputations persist, with a higher proportion of black and Hispanic patients undergoing amputation compared with limb salvage procedures for atraumatic CLI and infection. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level III prognostic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)885-892
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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