doctor inspecting a foot under lightsDuring their lifetime, 15 percent of people with diabetes will experience a foot ulcer, and between 14 and 24 percent of those with a foot ulcer will require amputation. Diabetes is the leading cause of lower extremity amputations in the United States. Each year, more than 82,000 amputations are performed among people with diabetes.

After an amputation, the chance of another amputation within 3 to 5 years is as high as 50 percent. The 5-year mortality rate after amputation ranges from 39 to 68 percent.

Prevention and Treatment of Diabetes Foot Problems

According to the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP), a partnership among the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and over 200 organizations, including the American Podiatric Medical Association, comprehensive foot care programs can reduce amputation rates by 45% to 85%. A comprehensive foot care program would include:

  • Early identification of the high-risk diabetic foot
  • Early diagnosis of foot problems
  • Early intervention to prevent further deterioration that may lead to amputation
  • Patient education for proper care of the foot and footwear

If you are diabetic, call Annapolis Foot & Ankle Center for a diabetic foot exam. Amputations CAN be avoided with proper preventative care.