1. Experience gained during the war in the treatment of patients with amputations of the lower limb has shown that it is possible to get such patients out of bed without crutches and actively bearing weight in peg legs or simple forms of artificial limbs at a period two to three weeks after amputation.
2. Early weight-bearing is of great advantage to the patient because (a) It promotes healing of the wound by improving the circulation, and in cases with terminal localized osteomyelitis favors the separation and spontaneous discharge of sequestra. (b) It hastens stump shrinkage and prevents muscle atrophy and the development of joint contractures. (c) It favorably influences the patient's morale. (d) It greatly shortens the period until the permanent artificial limb can be fitted and reduces the need of frequent alterations in the socket, and thereby much expense to the patient.
3. Provisional apparatus to secure early weight-bearing may be made to best advantage of simple materials, in the use of which the surgeon is already skilled.
4. With understanding of the advantages of early weight-bearing in the treatment of amputations of the lower limb, and of the little difficulty involved in its application, the method should be universally applied.
(C) 1922 All Rights Reserved.The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.