Should I worry about a blister on the amputated leg?
Q: Last year, I had a major operation in which my right leg was amputated and the right fractured hip was operated to save my life. Now I have recovered and my walking is also now getting normal, day by day. But since the time of my amputation operation, I have a blister in the lower part of the amputated leg. There is no pain. My doctors say that it depends on the patient body's internal response to stitches on amputated leg. He said that there is no need to operate it as the operation will not necessarily resolve the issue. Will the blister pose any danger in future? Will it automatically dissolve or come out itself later on? Is any special diet recommended for this? Please advise.
A:Yes, as suggested by your doctors it is possible to have this kind of a blister because of suture materials used at the time of amputation. Sometimes the wound discharges and slowly the body expels the suture material on its own. There is no risk as a result of this. Once the body has expelled the stitch, it would heal on its own. At times in amputees, such blisters also form as a result of constant pressure from the prosthesis used. This pressure causes the skin to break down presenting as a blister or an ulcer. Until the pressure caused by the prosthesis is corrected it will keep coming back and wont heal. At times, the pressure point is as a result of a sharp edge of bone protruding inside. This will have to be removed surgically. The diagnosis is very clear on clinical examination and if necessary an x-ray of the stump. At times the wound can be as a result of infection in the bone. This will not resolve until the infection in the bone is controlled. Often infection in bone leads to fragments of dead bone which will have to be removed surgically. Until this is removed again the wound does not heal. The picture becomes clear only on an x-ray of the stump. I am sure your doctors would have evaluated all this and got an x-ray of the stump before suggesting what he has suggested. Anyway I do not think there is a cause for worry (unless you are a diabetic, then in that case you need to treat the infection on a priority). The blister may have a nuisance value nothing more.