Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Predictors of lower extremity fracture-related amputation in persons with traumatic spinal cord injury: a case-control study.

Elam RE, Ray CE, Miskevics S, Weaver FM, Gonzalez B, Obremskey W, Carbone LD. Predictors of lower extremity fracture-related amputation in persons with traumatic spinal cord injury: a case-control study. Spinal Cord. 2023 Apr 1; 61(4):260-268.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


STUDY DESIGN: This is a retrospective case-control study. OBJECTIVES: To identify predictors of lower extremity (LE) long bone fracture-related amputation in persons with traumatic spinal cord injury (tSCI). SETTING: US Veterans Health Administration facilities (2005-2015). METHODS: Fracture-amputation sets in Veterans with tSCI were considered for inclusion if medical coding indicated a LE amputation within 365 days following an incident LE fracture. The authors adjudicated each fracture-amputation set by electronic health record review. Controls with incident LE fracture and no subsequent amputation were matched 1:1 with fracture-amputation sets on site and date of fracture (±30 days). Multivariable conditional logistic regression determined odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for potential predictors (motor-complete injury; diabetes mellitus (DM); peripheral vascular disease (PVD); smoking; primary (within 30 days) nonsurgical fracture management; pressure injury and/or infection), controlling for age and race. RESULTS: Forty fracture-amputation sets from 37 Veterans with LE amputations and 40 unique controls were identified. DM (OR = 26; 95% CI, 1.7-382), PVD (OR = 30; 95% CI, 2.5-371), and primary nonsurgical management (OR = 40; 95% CI, 1.5-1,116) were independent predictors of LE fracture-related amputation. CONCLUSIONS: Early and aggressive strategies to prevent DM and PVD in tSCI are needed, as these comorbidities are associated with increased odds of LE fracture-related amputation. Nonsurgical fracture management increased the odds of LE amputation by at least 50%. Further large, prospective studies of fracture management in tSCI are needed to confirm our findings. Physicians and patients should consider the potential increased risk of amputation associated with non-operative management of LE fractures in shared decision making.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.