Lower Limb Amputation Rates Have Dropped

Lower extremity amputations dropped almost 29 percent over a 13-year period

| Jul 26, 2013

Despite an increase in diabetes cases nationwide, fewer people with diabetes are facing lower leg and foot amputations than a decade ago, according to the results of a new study.

Because diabetes leads to circulation problems and nerve damage, those who develop the disease are at a higher risk of amputation, especially when faced with slow-to-heal diabetic foot ulcers. Research has suggested that at many as 25 percent of people with diabetes will face amputation.

But according to the study, those numbers are dropping. Led by researchers at the University of Iowa, the study was based on Medicare Part B claims from 2000 to 2010, which showed that the rate of lower extremity amputations dropped 28.8 percent, even as the number of orthopedic treatment claims for diabetic foot ulcers increased 143.3 percent.

In many cases, researchers said, lower extremity amputations have been replaced by partial toe amputations, allowing for better outcomes.

"Amputations at the upper and lower leg level are down 47 percent, while amputations at the partial toe level increased by 24 percent. What this means for patients is increased mobility, independence and survival rates," said senior author Dr. Phinit Phisitkul.

Researchers said that although additional studies are needed to determine the exact causes of the decrease, they said improved preventive care, insulin control, and orthopedic treatment of diabetic foot ulcers are most likely the biggest contributors to the decline.

According to Dr. Bill Releford, founder of the Releford Foot & Ankle Institute in Beverly Hills, as many as 75 percent of all amputations are preventable. He offered the following tips in a recent press release:

* Do not smoke.

* Exercise daily

* Control your cholesterol.

* Dry in between all toes after bathing.

* Always control your diabetes and blood pressure.

* Always wear shoes made from natural sources such as calfskin or soft leathers.

* Never pull or pick skin from your feet.

* Eat at least five colors of fruits and vegetables every day.

* Never cut toenails or trim calluses if you have diabetes or poor circulation. See a podiatrist for routine foot care.

* Never go barefoot if you have diabetes, even at home.

The study appeared in the journal Foot & Ankle International.

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Diabetic Foot Ulcers, Foot and Leg Amputations, Partial Toe Amputations


Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • What's on the Horizon with Diabetes Research and Therapy
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Latest
Popular
Top Rated

Latest Partial Toe Amputations Articles

Print | Email | Share | Comments (0)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Comments


Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...


Username: Password:
Comment:
©1991-2014 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.