We have reviewed 28 patients with reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) who had 34 amputations in 31 limbs. The amputations had been performed for untenable pain (5), recurrent infection (14) or to improve residual function (15). Only two patients were relieved of pain by amputation, and this could not be predicted. Ten of 14 patients were cured of infection and 9 of 15 patients had improvement of residual function. In 28 of the amputations, RSD recurred in the stump, especially after amputation at a level which was not free from symptoms. Because of recurrence of RSD in the stump or severe hyperpathia only two patients wear a prosthesis. Despite this 24 patients were satisfied with the results.
- © 1995 British Editorial Society of Bone and Joint Surgery