To highlight the prevalence and impact of skin disease at the stump site in patients who have undergone amputation.
A cross-sectional health questionnaire of Vietnam War veterans with stump dermatoses at least 38 years after major limb amputation.
A research registry of veterans with combat-related amputations who agreed to participate.
Recruitment began January 1, 2006, and ended December 31, 2009, with a registry of 416 veterans.
Main Outcome Measures
Results of a self-reported 35-item questionnaire. Participants were later contacted by telephone or asked to complete a Web survey.
Of the 247 veterans, 119 (48.2%) reported at least 1 skin problem within the preceding year. The most common were skin breakdown (25.2%), rash (21.8%), and abrasion (21.0%). In addition, 25.2% experienced skin problems more than 50% of the time, and 37.1% had to alter or replace their prosthesis. Stump dermatoses limited or prevented prosthesis use in the preceding year for 55.6% and caused pain or discomfort at the stump site in 61.5%.
More than 38 years after major limb amputation, skin complications at the stump site continue to cause significant morbidities and contribute to prosthesis abandonment. The high prevalence of stump dermatoses stresses the importance of disease prevention, early management, and advanced treatment of skin disease.