Home
Search in�� ��for��
 
Resources
Career Center
New Hospital Update
Learn More About MCI
Bill Payment
Upcoming Events
Find a Physician
Press Releases
Maps and Directions
Visiting Hours
Medical Services
Specialty Programs and Services
Volunteer Services
H2U
Birthing Center Tours
Clinics
Family Care of Eastern Jackson County
Jackson County Medical Group
Family & Friends
Virtual Body
Virtual Cheercards
Web Babies
Decision Tools
Self-Assessment Tools
Natural and Alternative Treatments Main Index
Health Sources
Cancer InDepth
Heart Care Center
HealthDay News
Wellness Centers
Aging and Health
Alternative Health
Sports and Fitness
Food and Nutrition
Men's Health
Mental Health
Kids' and Teens' Health
Healthy Pregnancy
Medications
Travel and Health
Women's Health
Genus MD
Genus MD
Physician Websites
Legal Disclaimers
Nondiscrimination
Privacy Notice



Send This Page To A Friend
Print This Page

Amputation of the Foot or Toe

(Toe Amputation; Foot Amputation)

 

Definition

Surgical removal of a toe, foot, or part of a foot

 

Reasons for Procedure    TOP

Amputation is most often done to:

  • Treat infections
  • Remove dead or damaged tissue due to gangrene or serious trauma

Gangrene of Foot

gangrene on foot

Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

 

Possible Complications    TOP

Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:

  • Difficulty healing
  • Infection
  • Stump pain—severe pain in the remaining tissue
  • Phantom limb pain —a painful sensation that the foot or toe is still there
  • Continued spread of gangrene, requiring amputation of more areas of your foot, toes, or leg
  • Bleeding
  • Nerve damage
  • Limp or trouble walking, depending on which toe or how much of the foot has been removed
  • Contracture deformity

Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase your risk of complications, such as:

 

What to Expect    TOP

Prior to Procedure

Before the surgery, your doctor may do some of the following:

  • Blood tests
  • X-ray of toe and foot
  • Bone scan to see if the bone is infected
  • Tests to evaluate blood circulation and help the doctor determine how much of the foot or toe needs to be amputated

Talk to the doctor about the medications you are taking. You may need to stop taking some medications up to 1 week before the procedure.

In the days leading up to your surgery:

  • Arrange for a ride to and from the hospital.
  • Arrange for help at home after the surgery.
  • The night before, eat a light meal. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
  • You may be asked to shower the morning of your procedure. You may be asked to use a special antibacterial soap.

Anesthesia

Based on your surgery and general health, you may have:

  • General anesthesia —You will be asleep.
  • Local anesthesia—The area that is being operated on will be numbed.
  • Spinal anesthesia —Medication is delivered to the spine to numb the lower body.

Description of the Procedure    TOP

You will be given IV fluids and antibiotics. Your foot will be washed with an antibacterial solution. The surgeon will make an incision into the skin around the area. The blood vessels will be tied off or sealed with an electrical current. This will prevent bleeding. The involved bones will be removed.

The ends of the remaining bone(s) will be smoothed. The remaining skin and muscle will be pulled over the open area. It will be closed with stitches. A sterile dressing will then be placed over the incision.

If there is an active infection, tubes may be left in place to allow fluids to drain. In some cases, the skin will not be closed but will instead be packed with a moist dressing.

Amputation of Crushed Toe

crush toe amputation

Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Immediately After Procedure    TOP

You will be taken to a recovery room. There, you will be monitored for any negative effects from the surgery or anesthesia. You will be given pain medication. You may also receive more antibiotics.

How Long Will It Take?    TOP

20-60 minutes

How Much Will It Hurt?    TOP

Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. Pain and discomfort after the procedure can be managed with medications.

Average Hospital Stay    TOP

The usual length of stay is 2-7 days. Your doctor may choose to keep you longer if complications arise.

Post-procedure Care    TOP

At the Hospital

  • Your foot will be kept elevated.
  • The remaining toes or foot will be wrapped with a bulky dressing. This will protect it from injury.
  • You will be encouraged to get up and begin walking as soon as the wound allows.
  • A physical therapist will likely assist you in walking at first.

At Home

You may have to restrict specific activities until you're healed. You may be advised to begin an exercise, physical therapy, or rehabilitation program. Your doctor may prescribe medications for pain or other conditions that need to be managed. Follow your doctor's instructions.

 

Call Your Doctor    TOP

Contact your doctor if your recovery is not progressing as expected or you develop complications, such as:

  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
  • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the incision site
  • Chalky white or blackish appearance of foot, other toes, or leg
  • Decreased sensation, numbness, or tingling in the rest of your foot, toes, or leg
  • Persistent nausea or vomiting
  • Pain that you cannot control with the medications you have been given
  • Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
  • Joint pain, fatigue, stiffness, rash, or other new symptoms

If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.

RESOURCES:

American Diabetes Association
http://www.diabetes.org

Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
http://orthoinfo.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Diabetes Association
http://www.diabetes.ca

The Canadian Orthopaedic Association
http://www.coa-aco.org

REFERENCES:

Baima J, Trovato M, Hopkins M, deLateur B. Achieving functional ambulation in a patient with Chopart amputation. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2008;87(6):510-513

Frykberg RG. Diabetic foot ulcers: pathogenesis and management. Am Fam Physician. 2002;66(9):1655-1663.

Parrett B, Pribaz J, Matros E, et al. Risk analysis for the reverse sural fasciocutaneous flap in distal leg reconstruction.. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2009;123(5):1499-1504



Last reviewed November 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM
Last Updated: 12/20/2014

Health References
Health Conditions
Therapeutic Centers


Copyright � 1999-2007
ehc.com; All rights reserved.
Terms & Conditions of Use
Privacy Statement
Medical Center of Independence
17203 E. 23rd St.
Independence,� MO� 64057
Telephone: (816) 478-5000