Severe forefoot infections may lead to limb loss, even if addressed aggressively. Infection or gangrene that compromises the plantar skin flap may preclude a standard transmetatarsal or midfoot amputation, thereby culminating in a below-knee amputation. We report a series of forefoot infections with loss of the distal plantar skin. Open or guillotine amputation at the mid-metatarsal level led to a high rate of healing and a durable stump, provided that the level of infection did not extend beyond the metatarsal heads. Wound closure was obtained by wound contracture alone or by use of partial-thickness skin grafting. Rehabilitation was dependable. The association of diabetes mellitus or gangrene did not adversely affect outcome. Open transmetatarsal amputation is a safe surgical option preferable to midfoot or below-knee amputation for the treatment of severe forefoot infection that does not extend proximally beyond the metatarsal heads.
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