This study investigates the effects of early fitting in trans-tibial amputees. The assumption is that compared to elastic bandaging, the use of a rigid dressing in early fitting will result in quicker wound healing and earlier ambulation. A retrospective file search was carried out in three different hospitals, analysing the time to first prosthesis, the incidence of local and general complications and the functional outcome after discharge from hospital. Each of the hospitals used a different method of postoperative care: elastic bandaging, immediate postoperative application of the plaster cast or delayed application of the plaster cast within one week post amputation. In comparison to the elastic bandaging method (N = 52), the use of a rigid dressing in the early fitting method (immediate and delayed, N = 97) resulted in a statistically significant shorter period from amputation to the delivery of a first regular prosthesis (110 days vs 50 days) and a decreased risk of knee flexion contracture. Although, differences in local complications were not observed, the risk of pressure sores in other places than the stump was increased in early fitting. Instead of further reducing the time to first prosthesis by immediate fitting, the use of delayed fitting resulted in a statistically significant shorter period from amputation to the delivery of a first regular prosthesis (56 vs 40 days). However, delayed fitting was associated with an increased risk for reamputation. In conclusion, this study indicates that early fitting by use of a rigid dressing after trans-tibial amputation is the treatment of choice. If it is possible to apply a plaster cast in the operating room, the authors would prefer the immediate fitting method.