What is guillotine ankle amputation?

Updated: Nov 18, 2019
  • Author: Vinod K Panchbhavi, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Guillotine amputations are performed either for speed or for control of infection before a second, definitive amputation. In guillotine ankle amputation, all of the tissues from the skin to the bone are cut at the level of the ankle without creating flaps of soft tissue.

Amputation surgery can be definitive if the wound flaps created at the stump can be approximated and no further surgery is anticipated to close the end of the stump. A guillotine amputation, by definition, leaves an open wound at the end of the stump. A further surgical procedure planned as a second stage involves a higher-level amputation to create soft-tissue flaps and provide skin cover over the open end of the stump.

This article describes the circumstances and technique of performing a guillotine amputation at the level of the ankle joint.

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