Amputation is surgical removal of an extremity or limb, such as a foot or leg. There are many reasons for amputation, from traumatic injury to complications of vascular diseases like diabetes. At our practice, we understand how amputation affects a person’s mobility and independence. That is why we do everything possible to help our patients avoid amputation through a combination of proven strategies, including patient education, proper footwear, and lifestyle modifications.
Did you know…
there are approximately 185,000 limb amputations performed in the U.S. every year? Many people live with limb loss every day – approximately 1 in 200 adults. Of those, the leading cause of amputation is vascular disease, which includes peripheral artery disease and diabetes.
Frequently Asked Questions
When does your office employ amputation prevention measures?
Amputation prevention measures are utilized for all patients who may be at risk of future limb amputation. Since the majority of amputations are caused by diabetes, we encourage all of our diabetic patients to undergo foot exams on a regular basis. Our goal is to prevent foot complications that lead to amputation. Should one of our patients develop such a complication, such as a non-healing wound, we will utilize advanced wound care methods to facilitate healing and prevent infection.
How will you know if my risk of amputation is increasing?
It is the job of your orthopedic surgeon to evaluate your foot health and how it affects the rest of your body. A gait analysis provides information about how a person walks, including speed and stepping width (base of gait). Information derived from a gait analysis can reveal signs of advancing neuropathy, as well as a person’s risk of developing foot sores or ulcers.
What are some of the ways you can help me avoid amputation?
We often recommend diabetic shoes to patients who have diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic shoes are specially designed to help prevent sores from forming on the feet of people with diabetes. Since diabetes can affect circulation to the feet, sores that form are often slow to heal and may become infected. By encouraging our patients to wear diabetic shoes, we can help lower the risk of sores that may otherwise lead to amputation.We also believe in the significance of patient education. We want all of our patients with neuropathy to understand the importance of daily foot inspection and keeping the feet clean at all times. In some cases, we recommend lifestyle changes, such as smoking cessation, that can help lower the risk of amputation.