Knee Disarticulations Versus Transfemoral Amputations: Functional Outcomes

Elizabeth M. Polfer*, Benjamin W. Hoyt, Adam J. Bevevino, Jonathan A. Forsberg, Benjamin K. Potter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objectives:To determine whether there is a patient-reported functional difference between combat-related knee disarticulations (KDs) and transfemoral amputations (TFAs).Setting:Role 3 Military Trauma Centers.Patients:We identified and contacted all KDs and TFAs performed at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and National Naval Medical Center from January 2003 until July 2012 to participate in a retrospective functional cohort analysis. Ten KD patients were available for study completion and were matched against 18 patients in the TFA group.Intervention:Knee disarticulation versus transfemoral amputation.Main Outcome Measurements:The following surveys were obtained from the participants-AAOS Lower Limb Outcome Questionnaire (LLQ), Tegner Activity Scale, SF-36, and Prosthetic Evaluation Questionnaires (PEQs).Results:Ten KD patients agreed to participate in the study, and 18 TFA matched controls were interviewed. Patients were followed up at an average of 66 months (interquartile range 50-79 months) after injury. There were no significant differences with regard to the SF-36, PEQ, LLQ, and Tegner Activity Scale scores.Conclusions:We detected no functional differences measured on the PEQ, LLQ, SF-36, and Tegner Activity Scale scores between KDs and TFAs. In the absence of a proven functional difference, we advocate performing trauma-related amputations at the most distal level the osseous and soft tissue injuries permit.Level of Evidence:Therapeutic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-311
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Trauma
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • amputation
  • combat
  • functional outcome
  • knee disarticulation
  • transfemoral amputation


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