Studies had to include only patients eligible for limb amputation or salvage of a single, lower limb. Quality of life had to be assessed using the Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36) or Sickness Impact Profile scales. Studies had to include at least 20 patients with a minimum follow-up time of two years. Studies restricted to specific age groups, racial groups or specific fracture types were excluded, as were studies of patients with previous leg or foot amputations.
Four of the included studies compared amputation with reconstruction, five were of amputation only and two of reconstruction only. Eight studies used the SF-36 scale and three (all from the same study group) used Sickness Impact Profile scales.
Study selection was performed by two independent reviewers.