Ever wonder why the average person might have to have their lower limb amputated? The Amputee Coalition, a non-profit organization that supports those living with limb loss, offers the following three causes:
Cancer accounts for less than 2% of all amputations.
45% of all amputations are due to trauma.
54% of amputations are caused by vascular disease.
So the leading cause of amputations in the U.S. is vascular disease, or disease of the blood vessels. Vascular disease in the feet is called peripheral arterial disease. PAD is a blockage in the arteries that provide blood to your feet.
Reduced blood flow to the feet is common in people with diabetes. That means that those with diabetes have a higher risk of developing ulcers on their feet that don’t heal. They can spread to the tissues and bones deep within the foot. If not treated promptly, even a small wound can lead to amputation. In fact, the Amputee Coalition reports that 85% of lower-limb amputations are preceded by a foot ulcer.
How we help prevent amputations
Amputation is something we work extremely hard to avoid here at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Center. Because April is Limb Loss Awareness Month, we want to focus on all the ways we’re helping our patients with diabetes avoid getting to the point where amputation may be necessary. Here’s what we do:
We recommend that every individual with diabetes visit our podiatry office at least once per year.
At every appointment, we will examine the feet for any changes. We look for evidence of low blood flow, changes in skin texture or color, nail discoloration, or changes in feeling or function.
We’ll assess your level of pain, if any, and determine if your pain is due to PAD.
We quickly treat cuts, scrapes, and ingrown toenails before they get worse.
How you can help
You can play a role in preventing lower limb amputation too. Examine your feet every day for signs of trouble. Make (and keep) your annual appointment with our board-certified podiatrists: Dr. Samantha Boyd, Dr. Hal Ornstein, Dr. Dan Phan, and Dr. Joseph Saka. Visit us sooner if you’re having a problem. You are welcome to make an appointment with us at our Howell or Jackson office, Monmouth County, New Jersey. Call us at (732) 905-1110 or visit us online.