According to the CDC, around 13% of the adults in the United States live with diabetes, and another 2.8% of adults live with undiagnosed diabetes.
This amounts to around 15% of 41.5 million adults who could benefit from being aware of amputation.
The diabetic amputee statistics we’ll show you below shouldn’t discourage you. There’s a lot you can do to prevent diabetes complications that could put your limbs at risk of amputation.
13 PAD and Diabetic Amputation Statistics
- Every year in the United States, around 73,000 amputations of the lower limb not related to trauma are performed on people with diabetes.
- More than 8 out of 10 (80%) diabetic amputations begin with foot ulcers.
- Around 15% of diabetes patients also have a foot ulcer.
- Of these 15%, around 6% will be hospitalized due to foot ulcer complications.
- Peripheral artery disease affects between 8 and 10 million people in the U.S.
- 25% of patients with critical limb ischemia will require life-saving amputation of a limb within just a year of CLI diagnosis.
- Around 20% of amputee patients will be deceased within one year after their PAD or diabetes-related amputation.
- Just around 37% of patients regain pre-amputation mobility after an amputation.
- Approximately 75% of diabetic foot ulcers can be prevented.
- The rate of PAD and diabetes-related ulcers can be lowered if more people are aware of PAD.
- Around 26% of people 50 years of age or older are aware that PAD exists.
- Primary care physicians might have a 50% awareness of a patient’s past history with PAD.
- Around 30% of patients with diabetes regularly receive regular foot care to monitor for foot ulcers.
Facts About Diabetic Amputation
Diabetic amputation is a serious complication that can arise from uncontrolled diabetes. It often results from nerve damage, poor circulation, and infections in the feet.
One of the biggest risk factors for diabetic amputation is smoking. Smokers with diabetes are twice as likely to need an amputation than non-smokers.
Minor cuts and blisters on the feet can quickly turn into ulcers that are difficult to heal in diabetic patients. Without proper care, these ulcers can become infected and lead to amputation.
Another important fact about diabetic amputations is that they tend to occur more frequently in certain populations. For example, African Americans are nearly three times more likely to undergo a lower-limb amputation than other racial groups.
It’s also worth noting that the cost of treating diabetic foot ulcers and related complications is very high. In fact, it’s estimated that healthcare costs for diabetic foot ulcers alone exceed $9 billion annually in the United States.
Prevention is key when it comes to avoiding diabetic amputations. This includes controlling blood sugar levels, quitting smoking, regularly inspecting the feet for cuts or sores, wearing properly-fitting shoes, and seeking medical attention promptly if any foot problems arise.
Risk Factors for Developing Foot Ulcers
One of the key ways to prevent diabetic amputation is to avoid developing foot ulcers. Foot ulcers are often the first step toward a more serious infection that can lead to amputation.
There are several risk factors that can increase your likelihood of developing foot ulcers. These include:
- Poor circulation: If you have peripheral artery disease or other circulation issues, it can be harder for your body to heal from cuts and injuries on your feet.
- Nerve damage: Diabetes can cause nerve damage, which means you may not feel pain or discomfort in your feet as acutely as you otherwise would. This can make it easier to overlook small injuries that could become bigger problems.
- Smoking: As mentioned earlier, smoking is a major risk factor for diabetic amputation overall. It also increases your chances of developing foot ulcers specifically.
- High blood sugar levels: When your blood sugar levels are consistently high, it can damage the nerves and blood vessels in your feet over time. This makes it harder for wounds to heal and increases your risk of developing infections.
If you have one or more of these risk factors, it’s important to take extra care with your feet. You may need to inspect them more frequently for cuts or sores, wear protective shoes or socks, and seek medical attention promptly if any problems arise.
By understanding these risk factors and taking steps to mitigate them, you can reduce your chances of developing foot ulcers and avoid more serious complications down the line.