We measured local transcutaneous oxygen tension at the foot and proximal
and distal to the knee in 162 patients who then had 206 amputations. When
the values for oxygen tension at the foot and distal to the knee were
compared with the success or failure of healing after an amputation of the
foot or distal to the knee, respectively, a clearly increasing probability
of failure was correlated with decreasing transcutaneous oxygen tension.
However, even at a tension of zero the probability of failure was not 100
per cent. The results were similar for diabetic and non-diabetic patients.
Preoperative values for transcutaneous oxygen tension were a much more
consistent predictor of success or failure of healing after an amputation
of the foot or distal to the knee than were measurements of systolic blood
pressure at the ankle, but neither was predictive of the outcome after an