What are the possible complications of guillotine ankle amputation?

Updated: Nov 18, 2019
  • Author: Vinod K Panchbhavi, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Answer

Patients may experience phantom limb sensation (ie, the sensation that the amputated foot is still present). This phenomenon occurs in nearly all patients who undergo amputations; however, it tends to decrease gradually. Phantom limb pain is described as a painful, burning sensation. This can lead to direct nerve-end stimulation during dressing changes or motion.

Continuous pulsatile arterial stimulation of the nerve occurs when the neurovascular structures are ligated together. If the vascular ligatures come off, bleeding can occur postoperatively.

The open wound at the end of guillotine amputation allows free drainage, but if necrotic tissue is left behind, control of infection can prove difficult.


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