Transmetatarsal Amputation (TMA)
Transmetatarsal amputation (TMA) is a
surgery to remove part of your foot. You
may need a TMA if you have poor blood
flow to your foot or a severe infection.
Care of the Incision
When you leave the hospital, your incision
is most often closed with stitches or staples.
These will be removed by your doctor at a
follow-up visit. Wash your incision with
soap and warm water every day. Use a
mild, fragrance-free soap. Wash it gently
with a clean washcloth or gauze but do not
scrub. Rinse thoroughly and dry gently.
Allow the incision and surrounding skin to
dry completely before applying the dressing.
Wrap the foot loosely with dry gauze unless
otherwise instructed by your doctor.
Do not soak in a tub. Do not use any
lotions, alcohol, powders, or oils on your
It is normal to have some pain at the suture
line and in your foot after surgery. Your
doctor has prescribed pain medicine for you
to use at home. This is often the same
medicine that you have been getting here.
As healing occurs, comfort along the
incision improves and you will need less
pain medicine. Your pain may be relieved
with an over-the-counter pain reliever.
Consult your doctor before starting.
It is common after this type of surgery to
have a decreased appetite and some weight
loss. Even if your appetite is poor, you
should try to eat well to promote healing.
Eating small meals more often may be better
than eating three large meals a day.
The number one problem patients have after
going home is not getting enough fluids.
This can make you feel tired and weak and
slow your healing. It is very important to
follow the guidelines below.
1. Drink at least 8-10 (8 oz.) glasses of
water or fruit juice per day.
Caffeine-containing drinks deplete
your body of fluids. These are not
the best choice for meeting your
2. Eat at least 3 fiber-rich foods each
day. Food rich in fiber include most
fruits and vegetables (especially
apples, dates, beans and peas). Also
whole grain breads and cereals
(especially bran products and
3. Try eating prunes or dinking prune
After surgery you may notice that you tire
more easily when you do things. This is
normal and will decrease as you get your
strength and energy back. Activity will help
you become stronger. It will also help
prevent constipation. Remember that it is
important to be as active as possible but also
allow for periods of rest. When sitting in a
chair or in bed, keep your legs elevated.
When walking, follow the instructions from
your provider. You may be able to use a heel
weight bearing shoe. Sometimes, you may
not put any weight on your foot. You may
also want to get a “toe filler” once healed.
Slowly increase the amount of activity you
do each day.
Are You at Risk for Poor Blood Flow to
the Legs and Feet?
You are more likely to have poor blood flow
to the legs if you:
Are over age 50
Have high blood pressure
Have high cholesterol
Do not exercise
Have heart disease in your family
How Do I Take Care of Legs and Feet
with Poor Blood Flow?
Look at legs and feet daily for sores,
scratches, cracks, blisters, or
reddened areas. Report them to your
doctor or nurse.
Wash your legs and feet daily with
mild soap and water. Avoid soaking.
Put lotion on dry skin daily.
Let a doctor or nurse clip your
toenails or show you how to clip
Wear shoes that fit well.
Wear white cotton or wool socks.
Check shoes and socks for stones,
sharp things, or holes.
Do not use heating pads or hot water
bottles on legs or feet.
Never go barefoot.
When to Call Your Doctor
You should look at your amputation site
every day. Please call your doctor if you
1. An increase in redness or warmth at
the amputation site.
2. Red streaks on your skin that extend
from the site where the stitches are.
3. Bulging, swelling, or red streaks at
4. New drainage or bleeding from your
5. Open spots between the stitches
where the skin is pulling apart.
6. A temperature of more than 101.5°F
(38.5°C) by mouth for two readings
taken 4 hours apart.
7. If you notice the skin along the
incision is getting darker or turning
If you have any questions when you are home, you may call the Vascular Surgery clinic at
(608) 263-8915. If you need to reach a doctor after hours, you may do so by calling hospital
paging at (608) 263-6400. Ask for the Vascular Surgery physician on call. Give the paging
service your name and phone number with area code. The doctor will call you back. If you live
out of the area, please call 1-800-323-8942.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 8/2016 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing HF#4892.