Fifty-eight patients underwent lower limb amputation for arterial disease over a 30-month period. Mean age of the patients was 72 years. Cardiopulmonary and metabolic risk factors were present in the majority of the patients. Postoperative one-year and three-year mortality rates were 24, 40, and 76%, respectively. Contralateral amputation was required in one-third of the patients after a mean period of eight months. Only younger and healthier patients returned to a meaningful social life after appropriate prosthetic fitting. In view of the high mortality and morbidity rates, above-knee amputation seems a better choice than below-knee amputation in these elderly and high-risk patients.